For the several hundred fans who regularly make a point of attending Dayton Demolition hockey games, life just got a bit more comfortable.
The Demolition are back home at Hara Arena, ostensibly for the rest of this season, after playing one game at South Metro Sports in Centerville (and losing 2-0) due to financial distress.
Hara marketing director Karen Wampler made the announcement Wednesday after reaching agreement with New Jersey-based Demolition owner Bill Dadds on an addendum to their original one-year contract.
“Happy is a strong word,” said Wampler when asked if she was. “I’m pleased we have this opportunity. I’m not pleased how it unfolded. We’ve taken some provisions to keep it from happening again. It’s worth the risk and sacrifice to see hockey take root here and expose it to a new generation.
“This is a hockey barn and there should be hockey here.”
Dadds apparently found an investor, which is the main reason hockey still has a pulse in Dayton, albeit thready.
“There’s been some credibility loss,” Wampler admitted. “We’ll have to work on that. What I do know is Bill Dadds is firmly in the ownership position and is fully committed to pushing this thing forward.”
“This thing” has been a staple of the Dayton sporting landscape for more than half a century. Hara, which seats about 5,000, once sold out regularly. But the passion for hockey has waned in recent years as team after team has gone by the wayside, from the Bombers to the Gems to the Demonz.
The Demolition, who compete in the Federal Hockey League, debuted in Dayton this season. Their next home game is Jan. 21 against the Danville Dashers. After that, 16 more home dates remain. Then, who knows?
“We’ll be cautiously optimistic,” Wampler said. “We understand there will be skepticism in the market, but a lot of people made sacrifices to bring this back together.”
Manziel finds fresh, new ways to stay relevant
On the day LeBron James’ marketing agency cut ties with Johnny “Billy” Manziel, we also learned the Browns quarterback was cited for having expired license plates Saturday morning in the Cleveland suburb of North Olmsted, presumably as he rushed to the airport to board a flight to Las Vegas.
OK, it’s not a big deal. Most people forget to renew their tags once (twice?) in a lifetime, right? But on top of everything else Manziel’s been up to, one wonders where the Browns’ breaking point is with this guy and what’s stopping them from simply sending him on his merry way.
Guess that’s a decision best left to the football professionals. Of course, there are none at the moment, although Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase seems to have interest in becoming head coach, unless he’s just using the Browns to get a better deal elsewhere. Wednesday, he got the first interview.
Griffey tops Seaver, breezes into Cooperstown
Pleased to say I voted for the two players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza.
Griffey, as obvious a first-ballot Hall of Famer as there’s ever been, fell three votes short of appearing on every ballot, which would have been a first. As it was, he unseated 1992 inductee Tom Seaver for highest percentage of the vote, 99.3 to 98.8.
It’s only natural to wonder how three people with ballots didn’t bother to check Griffey’s name. Looks like a little more pruning of the electorate might be in order.
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