MANCHESTER, N.H. – Just days after finishing the North Division Final against the Newfoundland Growlers, the Manchester Monarchs announced they will be closing their doors for good, effective immediately.
This marks the end of an 18-year run for the franchise that spent time in the American Hockey League and ECHL, winning a Calder Cup Championship in 2015. Since the move to the ECHL, the team has been a mainstay in the Kelly Cup Playoffs and came within one game of playing for the Kelly Cup in 2017.
The downside from the American Hockey League’s California land rush in 2015, was that it left fans in Manchester uneasy about the ECHL product. Once the team moved into the ECHL, attendance slumped and never recovered.
Here is a look at attendance figures from the Monarchs, both in the AHL and ECHL. For reference, the move to the ECHL happened prior to the 2015-16 season.
|Year||Attendance||Overall Percent Decrease|
In the four seasons the Monarchs were in the ECHL, attendance fell 46.8 percent.
“Over the past three years, we enjoyed three deep playoff runs, improved the affordability and quality of the family experience, and have made significant investment in the local community, but ultimately, after discussing it with the city, state, arena, and the L.A. Kings, and seeking investment from other potential buyers, it became clear that ECHL hockey was no longer viable in Manchester,” said Brian Cheek, Manchester Monarchs CEO. “When we took over the team, our hope was that reinvestment in a winning hockey team and investment in the Manchester community would reinvigorate Manchester’s enthusiasm for minor league hockey.”
In a letter to fans, the team had this to say:
This is a developing story and will be updated.