If you build it, Phantoms will come!!!

The Phantoms are coming back to PA.

The Phantoms are coming back to PA.

Ah yes Allentown, the city known for Billy Joel, Muhlenberg College, Dorney park, and Yoccos hotdogs. But now Allentown will also be known as Phantomtown. No, this isn’t a cheesy ghost town from a Scooby Doo episode, but a new mecca for minor league hockey. Starting in 2014 Allentown will be the home for the Philadelphia flyers American Hockey League affiliate and will be called the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. From 1996-2009 the Phantoms called the Spectrum Arena in Philadelphia, yes the spectrum where Rocky Balboa won the title, their home. The Phantoms became

Opening in 2014 the new arena on 7th St. & Hamilton

Opening in 2014 the new arena on 7th St. & Hamilton

one of the AHL’s most popular and successful teams, including two Calder Cup championships. The phantoms hold a special place in my heart because my first hockey game was in 1997 when the Phantoms played in my hometown against the Beast of New Haven. While the Beast may be gone, the Phantoms have endured as one of the longest running minor league franchises. But when the Spectrum was demolished in 2009 the team moved north to become the Adirondack Phantoms. In Philly the Phantoms had one of the biggest followings for a minor league sports team and soon there was a public outcry to keep the team in Philadelphia but ultimately they decided to move the team to Allentown. This was after a heated competition between Allentown and

The Phantoms will have a new look in 2014 too

The Phantoms will have a new look in 2014 too

Camden, New Jersey to lure the franchise back from Adirondack.  Allentown won the rights and began building the new “Allentown Arena”. The arena will be at the corner of 7th street and Hamilton Streets in the downtown and is expected to open in the fall of 2014. The new arena will hold 8,500 fans for hockey and 10,000 for concerts and is estimated to cost of around 270 million dollars. The arena has been deemed a multi-purpose arena and is looking to host between 140 and 200 events annually. The arena will feature retractable stands for concerts and trade shows and featuring multiple suites. While this price tag may be steep the arena is for much more than hockey. While the Phantoms will be the primary draw, and were the major reason for the development of the arena, its ultimate goal is help stimulate the economy for Allentown. While this a great for stimulating businesses for the downtown Allentown area, the hockey fans, especially the Flyer fans, will enjoy watching professional hockey and seeing the future stars of the NHL. I would recommend going for even none hockey fans, because in my personal opinion there is nothing more exciting than a live hockey game. Plus, you only live once! The new arena  will also allow more concerts and other entertainment that even a greater amount of the Lehigh Valley community can enjoy.

AHL hockey will bring new excitement to the Lehigh region

AHL hockey will bring new excitement to the Lehigh region

The new Phantoms Arena won’t just bring hockey to this area but opportunities and events that the Lehigh Valley couldn’t even imagine. It will without a doubt allow for the Muhlenberg and Allentown community to have new and memorable experiences. If you would like to see the construction progress and stadium renderings go to phantomsarena.com.  Thanks and Go Phantoms!!!

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Are we there yet????… NO!!! still waiting

The future is looking brighter for the Mets, but the the present is a different story

The future is looking brighter for the Mets, but the present is a different story

Well it’s that time of year again. Before we know it pitchers and catchers will report for spring training and baseball season will finally kick into high gear. While most of these camps will focus on the present, in Port St. Lucie the eyes will be looking toward the future. For 2013 the highlight for the New York Mets won’t be the play on the field, but the hosting of the MLB All-star game at Citi Field. It’s been a rough offseason for Mets fans as the franchise traded away the reigning N.L. Cy Young award winner and has done nothing to address an outfield situation that is almost

D'arnaud was the key piece in the R.A. Dickey trade and could be the Mets backstop for the next decade

D’arnaud was the key piece in the R.A. Dickey trade and could be the Mets backstop for the next decade

bleaker then a Stephen King novel. While 2013 will probably be a lost season for the Metropolitans and their fans the prospects of competing in 2014 is a reason for optimism. After trading R.A. Dicky to Toronto the Mets now have two of the top prospects in baseball. Travis D’arnaud is ranked #6 and Zack Wheeler # 8 on MLB.com’s top 100 prospects list. Not to be outdone the other key piece in the deal, Noah Syndergaard a right-handed pitcher, is ranked 29th on the top 100 list as well. D’arnnaud was the key in the Dickey trade, and as the best catching prospect in baseball he could give the Mets their best backstop since Gary Carter. Well all Mets fans know about Matt Harvey and the impact he had last season, Zack Wheeler could be an even better pitcher. The right hander was traded to the club during the Carlos Beltran trade and has been compared to Justin Verlander with a 98 MPH fastball and a devastating curveball. Not to be

Wheeler has all of the tools to be the next ace of the Mets

Wheeler has all of the tools to be the next ace of the Mets

outdone Syndergaard while young, can throw in the upper 90s and if he can develop his secondary pitchers could an integral part of the rotation in flushing. You can view all of the Mets top prospects and see their scouting report videos by clicking here. While the future looks bright for the Mets, especially with the possible rotation of Wheeler, Harvey, Niese, and Syndergaard in the near future, the Mets have once again swung and missed in the offseason. While signing Shaun Marcum will add a solid arm to the rotation the Mets waited until this week to try to fix their disastrous bullpen for a season ago. Feliciano to a minor league deal and Brandon Lyon will give them a possible solution at closer the Mets could have vastly improved earlier in the offseason. Overall I give the Mets a B+ with the Dickey trade and these solid last-minute signings, but they kinda missed something important. Um guys you do realize you need three players to play the outfield right?? Whoops while the Mets were busy creating their new alternate uniforms this offseason they kinda forgot that you need people to catch the ball in the outfield. Kirk Nieuwenhuis is a good outfielder they have, but they let Scott Hairston go and now have Lucas Duda and Mike Baxter penciled in as outfielders. They aren’t starting outfielders, although they are an improvement over Jason Bay. Bottom line if you want to know how the Met’s season is going to be then click on this link. Overall though I am getting excited for the Mets future and I can see these team competing in the next few seasons. The only problem is it’s going to be a llllooooonnnnngggg 2013. However, if the Mets prospects are as good as advertised than not only will the Mets make it back to the playoffs, but a World Series could be heading to Citi Field.