Today, the Portland Pirates, AHL affiliate to the Phoenix Coyotes, announced a permanent venue change for home games this season. Due to disagreements between the Pirates and the Cumberland County Civic Center, the Pirates had already scheduled to play their homes games through January at Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, ME. Now, all 38 homes games will be at that arena.
Androscoggin Bank Colisee hosted several home games for the Portland Pirates last season and has a long hockey history. The team is embracing the move and looking forward to the upcoming season. According to representatives from the team, the players really enjoyed the games that they played in Lewiston last year. The whole team, players and staff alike, will be looking to give back to the Lewiston/Auburn community during the coming season while calling that rink home.
Although the Pirates have a change of venue, the team will still be referred to as the Portland Pirates at least for the time being. The Pirates ownership continues to try and work through the issues that are currently before them. But, they are thankful to have an alternate arena to call home that is just up the road from them.
This struggle between the Pirates and the arena in Portland also presents an interesting problem for the future of AHL hockey in Maine. It will be interesting to follow. Next season will see at least one change in the league with the Adirondack Phantoms, AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, moving to Allentown, PA. Will the Pirates have to relocate as well?