Shocking news out of the AHL today as the Portland Pirates have reportedly told the Cross Insurance Arena that they have been sold and will be moving to Springfield, Massachusetts ahead of the 2016-17 season, filling the void that the Falcons have left in their move to Tucson, Arizona.
The story first broke by Lee Goldberg of WCSH in Maine and by the Portland Press-Herald. The Herald cites that Mitch Berkowitz, chairman of the board of trustees for the Cumberland County owned Cross Insurance Arena confirmed that the team would no longer inhabit the arena and would be moving. The Post-Herald also said that Pirates COO Brad Church did not have any details on the sale and was not aware of any potential buyers, though the team had been approached in the past.
Calls from TheSinBin.net to the Pirates were not returned as this story was published.
The Pirates moved from Baltimore to Portland for the 1993-94 season and won the Calder Cup in the same season. They have not won one since. The team had been in some turmoil with the Cumberland County government, which stems from a lease dispute in 2013 that made the Pirates move from the Cross Insurance Arena to Androscroggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.
The Pirates lost their first round match-up in the Calder Cup playoffs this season to the Hershey Bears in five games. They finish out their tenure in the AHL with a record 870 wins, 683 losses, 116 ties, 95 OT losses, and 56 shootout losses.
More on this on TheSinBin.net as it becomes available.