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Amerks hurting for fans

The Rochester Americans are obviously are a forgotten team in Buffalo. The Sabres moved their minor-league team to Portland in 2008, so the Pirates get all the play around here.

It seems the Amerks don't get much love in Rochester, either.

The team ranks 27th in attendance in the 30-team AHL, drawing just 3,536 fans per game to the 11,000-seat Blue Cross Arena. As Kevin Oklobzija of the Democrat and Chronicle wrote today, that would have been a bad season-ticket base in the 1990s, let alone the total attendance.

The Amerks have made a video to draw attention to their plight using former players Jody Gage, Scott Metcalfe, Jim Hofford, Geordie Robertson, Gates Orlando and Ted Nolan, who all live in the community. One of the reasons they cite for lack of fan interest is the team's affiliation with Florida instead of Buffalo. The Amerks were sixth in AHL attendance at 6,835 during their final season with the Sabres (2007-08).

"I don’t see too many people wearing Florida Panthers hats around town," Metcalfe told the D&C. "No matter who it was, Razor (Rob Ray), Barney (Matt Barnaby), Bouch (Philippe Boucher), everybody that came through here, the fans could follow up to the Sabres."

---John Vogl


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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl | jvogl@buffnews.com

About Sabres Edge


Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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