Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today welcomed the Calgary Flames American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate team to Glens Falls and its new home, the Civic Center. The American Hockey Leagues Board of Governors has approved the relocation of the franchise owned by the Flames from Abbotsford, B.C., to Glens Falls, New York, beginning with the 2014-15 season.
Weve seen in cities across the State from Rochester and Syracuse to Utica how a minor-league hockey affiliate can bring new energy, excitement, and jobs to local communities. New York State is thrilled that the Calgary Flames have chosen Glens Falls as home for their AHL affiliate, Governor Cuomo said. New York has become a national leader in hockey, with two teams from the state Union College and Clarkson University securing the top college championship trophies this year, and the New York Rangers currently in the middle of an exciting Stanley Cup playoff run. I welcome the Flames here to New York State, congratulate Mayor Diamond and General Manager Treliving on this accomplishment, and wish the team the best of luck on the ice.
Calgary Flames General Manager Brad Treliving said, The Calgary Flames are dedicated to developing players in the American Hockey League, and are excited at the prospect of moving to a mature hockey market like Glens Falls that deserves to remain an AHL market. The history and tradition of the Flames franchise goes back to the teams birth as the Atlanta Flames and we are proud to also pay tribute to our history with the introduction of a new version of the flaming A here in Adirondack. We look forward to building on Glens Falls rich hockey history.
The Civic Center will undergo renovations to meet professional hockey standards while improving and making the Civic Center more competitive for other regional entertainment events such as concerts, trade shows, and other athletic events, helping to spur economic activity in downtown Glens Falls. Phase 1 renovations consist of technology upgrades for the Center, including enhanced wi-fi within the facility and conference room, upgrades to the center's outside signage, electronic signage within the center, and video. The renovations and team relocation will result in an estimated 45 jobs and approximately 40 construction jobs. Phase 2 of the project is to include renovations to team locker rooms, weight exercise rooms, offices, and power and lighting upgrades with the within arena.
Glens Falls Mayor John Jack Diamond said, Glens Falls is excited to host the Calgary Flames and bring hockey back to our great city. As we move forward with the critical renovations to the Civic Center, well ensure that Glens Falls remains a destination for hockey fans and visitors, which will in turn provide an economic boost for our downtown businesses. We welcome the Flames and look forward to the first puck to drop this fall.
To assist with the renovations to the Civic Center for the attraction of a new AHL franchise and other special events, the City of Glens Falls was awarded $675,000 in Round 3 from Empire State Development through the Capital Region Economic Development Council. New York State will work with the City of Glens Falls to support the project moving forward.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, For decades ice hockey has been invaluable to the Glens Falls community. The State recognized the importance of investing in an improved Civic Center to help the city continue its long tradition as a minor league hockey town. We enthusiastically welcome the Calgary Flames organization to the City of Glens Falls and look forward to the economic boost and influx of visitors they will draw here this upcoming season.
The Calgary Flames have chosen a very special home in Glens Falls and I join many enthusiastic hockey fans in welcoming them, said Senator Betty Little, an AHL season ticket holder. Plans to update the Civic Center were a key component in reaching an agreement with the team, and these improvements will also help attract shows and events for many years to come. Im very pleased working with Governor Cuomo and the City of Glens Falls that we could make this happen.
It is a great day for the City of Glens Falls. Hockey is an integral part of Glens Falls history and has a long standing tradition within the community, Assemblyman Dan Stec. The funding being provided by the State for renovations to the Civic Center will benefit the entire community and ensures a bright future for hockey in the City of Glens Falls.
Warren County Economic Development Corporation President Edward Bartholomew said, The City of Glens Falls has been working hard to bring a hockey team back to the community, and renovations to the Civic Center were an integral part of that effort. We thank New York State for its partnership and our loyal hockey fans for their continued support and participation. We look forward to this next chapter of Glens Falls hockey history.
Glens Falls has been home to American Hockey League action for 25 seasons with the Adirondack Red Wingsthe Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate programcapturing four Calder Cup titles between 1979 and 1999. The Philadelphia Flyers (Adirondack Phantoms) also called Glens Falls home from 2009 through the 2013-2014 season. The Civic Center has a long history of hosting hockey and other sporting events, including the New York State Basketball Championships and The Federation tournament, as well as serving as a major concert venue.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomos transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After three rounds of the REDC process, more than $2 billion has been awarded to job creation and community development projects consistent with each regions strategic plans, resulting in creation or retention of more than 100,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.