The Nashville Predators have ended their working agreement with the Norfolk Admirals, another ominous turn for a team in last place, and struggling to sell tickets.
The Admirals issued a press release Tuesday evening shortly after being asked by the Virginian-Pilot about rumors that the Predators were pulling the agreement.
“The affiliation change announced today does not affect the normal daily operations of the team or the Admirals’ organization as a whole, but is a sign of the commitment this organization has to do whatever it takes to ensure the team’s success here in Hampton Roads,” said Chief Revenue Officer Trent Ferguson.
Mango Media Group, owners of the Admirals, said in an emailed statement that the announcement was in the best interest of the organization.
The Hampton Roads Admirals, founded in 1989 by Blake Cullen, were considered one of the ECHL’s flagship franchises. Coached by eastern hockey legend John Brophy, the Admirals won three ECHL championships in their first nine seasons and often led the league in attendance. Under ownership of Mango Media Group, the Admirals have been on a downward slide.
The Admirals finished with the worst record in the franchise’s 28 seasons and the worst average home attendance , at 2,984 per game.
At 5-13-1, the Admirals have the second-worst record in the 27-team ECHL and are averaging 1,981 fans per home game – last in the ECHL.