The final detonation of the Dayton Bombers

It was going to happen, in fact, just like the implosion of AIG, the only thing that would have saved the Dayton Bombers was a government stimulus check in the way of a new arena- and that would have had to have happened a few years ago.

Today, the Dayton Daily News reports that the Bombers won’t skate next season:

The Dayton Bombers will not play the 2009-10 ECHL season, the league confirmed today, March 30.

The Bombers, who had the second longest tenure in the ECHL with 18 seasons, played their final home game Saturday, March 28, at the Nutter Center, where they have played since the 1996-97 season.

Dayton will wrap up the regular season on the road at Reading on April 4.

The Bombers organization must inform the ECHL Board of Governors of its future plans at the annual meeting on June 24.

“From the board’s point of view it’s a done deal, there won’t be hockey in Dayton next season,” ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna said. “There have been discussions about and rumors of possible owners, but nothing has come to fruition.”

via Bombers won’t play next season; cite declining support.

It hasn’t quite sunk in yet- but I’m already missing the idea of pro-hockey in Dayton. What makes my stomach turn is the comments on the Dayton Daily News site. Negativity to the nTH degree.

One can point fingers all over the place for the failure of the team (for at least the second time in 5 years) but, when it comes down to it- it’s a small business, just like any other small business right now, it’s tough.

The distractions caused by the Mandalay proposal for an AHL team, the talk of a new arena, and the way minor league hockey works (without real support from the NHL like the way the MLB funds minor league Baseball) all make hockey a tough business.

The reality of the matter is that Dayton (the region) just lost one more “cultural” attraction that helps contribute to the “livability” index of the area. This hurts all of us just a little bit, even if you never went to a game- and for that reason- all the naysayers on the DDN board should learn to STFU.

Dayton Bombers- it was nice having you around. You will be missed.

disclaimer: My agency, The Next Wave did project work for the Bombers under the last 2 owners.

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12 Responses

  1. Roger March 30, 2009 / 11:58 pm
    The DDN should just shut down all of their comments… there is never anything positive there. Mostly anonymous racism and Dayton-bashing.

    Sad to see the Bombers go. Minor League sports is a tough business. I was a fan of the several indoor football teams that have tried to make a go of it in Dayton.

  2. David Esrati March 31, 2009 / 12:17 am

    @Roger, if the DDN had any clue on how to run a social media site, their commenting problems would be gone.
    It’s amazing how far behind the curve they are- and how many basic mistakes they make. It’s really not that hard to build community and keep healthy discussion going while getting rid of the crap.
    I’d be happy to teach them- but, not for free.

  3. Teri Lussier March 31, 2009 / 1:01 am
    That’s heart-breaking. Hockey is one of the few sports I like to watch, and growing up right down the road from Hara Arena, Dayton will always be a hockey town to me.

    Thanks to the Bombers organization for many years of entertainment.

  4. Donald Phillilps March 31, 2009 / 10:16 am
    All of you pooh-poohed me when I pointed out the financial plight of professional hockey and the unviability of an ice arena in downtown Dayton. I don’t hate to tell you that I was right.

    The Arcade is next, only you’ll will delude yourselves on that, too.

  5. Drexel Dave Sparks March 31, 2009 / 10:22 am
    Really, it is the height of irresponsibility to let any of the thousands and thousands of rubes from Southwestern Ohio just readily post any kind of racist garbage under any anonymous name they want. If someone wants to do that, they can get their own blog and post their venom to their regular three readers. Anyone heard of board moderators? Geez.
  6. David Esrati March 31, 2009 / 10:23 am

    @donald
    Hockey is viable. However, it needs to be done right- from the start.
    Mandalay could do it right. So could others. Papista, Reilly, Gagnon were all stuck with a brand that had damage.

  7. Drexel Dave Sparks March 31, 2009 / 10:25 am
    You know what would be cooler than the Bomber’s though? Restore the old Walnut Hills Park roller hockey rink into an ice rink and have outdoor college hockey games there. That would be the height of cool. I love that old park. You can catch groups playing roller hockey there all the time.
  8. Larkin March 31, 2009 / 3:33 pm
    I saw this happen in Bozeman, MT where in a matter of less than six years went from no team to National Junior League champions to selling the rink to a beverage distributor. There was a huge fan base, sold out games, lots of support for the team. They just didn’t have a sponsor with bottomless pockets and that’s what they needed.

    And that’s what the Bombers, and almost every other minor league sports team has to have to stay afloat. (It was a real shame to see the rink dismantled as it was a state of the art facility, and then that left all the amateur hockey groups squabbling over the use of the semi-enclosed rink at the fairgrounds.)

    What’s interesting to me is that in Canada where hockey is the predominant religion, every town with more than 300 people has its own rink, own teams and a healthy roster of regular games at all levels. The rink may be not much more than a tin shed with a zamboni, but by god they get out there and play.

    Does anyone know how the Bluejackets are faring financially? We went to a couple of games last season, but you know, how much fun is it to shell out $85 for each ticket and end up sitting next to some overweight middle-aged jackass that spends the game yelling about how the team plays “like girls,” with plenty of expletives thrown in for good measure. As a former “girl” player, it was offensive. As it was my Mom’s first NHL game it was embarrassing. Finally it didn’t feel like a great way to spend $250 for the evening.

    Too bad about the Bombers, though. One more loss for Dayton.

  9. J.R.Erwin.CEO March 31, 2009 / 3:42 pm
    The Economic Development Director in West Carrollton is reviewing the proposal for The Dream Sports Arenas-Meetings-Tournaments-Whitewater and Expo . Also, The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce. The Dream will have 4 ice arenas-9 basketball courts-4-indoor football/soccer non-walled fields-indoor BMX bike-indoor swiming-horse arena-whitewater paddlesports-lodges-motel-20 outside fields-21 baseball/softball fields, etc . The Dream will be the LARGEST…teams facility in the U.S.A. catering to organized select sports. The Dream is looking at 200 acres and local banks for finance. The Park National Bank and the Trades Pension Funds are looking at the proposal. Anybody can google….The Dream Sports Arenas.
  10. Jeff March 31, 2009 / 3:59 pm
    The Dream needs to hook up with Randy Gunlock.
  11. Pete Fradl January 29, 2015 / 7:29 pm
    Hello All,
    I went to alot of Bombers games and always had a good time when they played at Hara Arena!! But, at some point though, I wasn’t able to go to Bombers games any more due to changes in my life and a medical issue!! (Bells Palsey is part of it :O( ) I am now able to goto some games agian!! :O) However, the Bombers are gone :O( It’s dissapointing cuz I never had a bad time at a Bombers hockey game. I’m not sure what happened to them but Hara now has the Dayton Demonds hockey team. I’m going to go see them and looking forward to it!! :O)
    Request…..Could someone post a comment or link explaining the history of the bombers toward the end and what happened to them??? Also, either links or history of the Demonds???
    Thanks,
    Pete

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