The New Jersey Devils are moving their farm team from Albany to Binghamton, New York.
The Devils have reportedly signed a five-year agreement, starting next season and through 2021-22, to play at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena.
Binghamton has been home for the Ottawa Senators’ farm team since 2002, but the Sens are moving their affiliate to Belleville, Ontario, for next season.
Devils president Hugh Weber provided the following statement about the move:
“After evaluating multiple scenarios and obtaining the approval of the AHL Board of Governors, we have agreed to partner with a local operating group in Binghamton, NY to relocate our AHL franchise for the 2017-18 season. The new arrangement will allow the organization to focus its efforts on developing our player prospects, while leaving the business operations to those with expertise in the market.”
What this means for professional hockey in Albany remains to be seen.
From the Albany Times Union:
Times Union Center is in talks to acquire another professional sports tenant, but it’s not a hockey team, sources said.
Attendance has been an issue for the Devils since they moved here in 2010. Albany is currently averaging 2,888 fans per home date, last in the 30-team AHL.
The Sens announced their move to Belleville in September.