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Cryptic tweets from Crunch owner leaves the fan-base uncertain

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Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon published a fresh new batch of ominous tweets this morning that have left many in Syracuse nervous for what the future may hold.

One of the proposed upgrades for the War Memorial is a new scoreboard/video-board to replace the broken one that is pictured here.
Photo by Scott Thomas

If there’s any one thing we have learned in recent years, it’s that anything can happen to anybody in the American Hockey League. We have seen staples in the league like Albany relocate, Binghamton almost lose their team, and now even the Buffalo Sabres ownership group has started looking at alternate locations for the Rochester Americans to play.

Earlier today Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon had this to say on Twitter:

While many seem to think this is Dolgon shadow-boxing with New York State for money to repair and upgrade the ever-aging War Memorial, some are not so optimistic.

Syracuse has felt pretty comfortable in their home for a multitude of reasons within the last decade or so. First and foremost, the Crunch and Lightning just extended their affiliation agreement through the 2021-2022 season. In addition, the team and Onondaga County agreed back in 2012 to extend their lease with the War Memorial through the 2024 season.

Still, fans in this league have seen weirder things happen over the years and the doubt and uncertainty has them reeling.

“As a season ticket holder since day one, it would be devastating,” long-time fan Zak Warner said. “For a town that prides itself on athletics, it would be a shame to lose the most professional team we’ve had since the Nats. Especially since the partnership with Tampa has provided some of the most memorable sports moments in a long while.”

While some fans cringe at the thought of their beloved hockey team leaving the market, others like season ticket holder Brian Salisbury knows that in the minor leagues it’s just a part of the business.

“I feel fortunate they have been here for 20 plus years,” Salisbury said. “So many other places have more seating and upgraded services for fans and players alike with a larger population to fill the seats. I have seen the Blazers leave and the Utica Devils first hand. The entire AHL always has changes. It is an unfortunate eventuality.”

Still, this is all just pure speculation and worry on behalf of a fan-base that has watched neighboring organizations dissipate in what seems like overnight.

There’s zero doubt in most minds that Dolgon has been a fantastic owner. For instance, he brought some of the biggest events in league history into our very own back yard. Given that, the general consensus seems to be that the Crunch are staying put.

“I think that the Crunch will be in Syracuse as long as Dolgon owns the team,” season ticket holder Huddy said. “If he ever sells, all bets are off.”

The most likely scenario is that all of this is in regards to the stalled attempt at an out-door game being played at the Chiefs NBT Stadium and the lack of support from the state. Still, with tweets as vague and cryptic as these appear to be and the constant changing landscape in the league, fans are completely justified for being on the edge of their seats.