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Canucks owner looking to buy Abbotsford arena, bring farm team closer to home

Aug 18, 2012, 4:28 PM EDT

Francesco Aquilini Getty Images

According to Greg Douglas of the Vancouver Sun, Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini is looking to buy the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre and work out a deal to bring the Canucks farm team closer to home.

The one catch here is that the Calgary Flames affiliate currently calls Abbotsford home but the association hasn’t been peachy as Douglas writes.

Calgary’s American Hockey League affiliate – the Abbotsford Heat – are locked into a 10-year supply fee agreement with the City of Abbotsford and after three years, it’s been a disaster. The Heat played four post-season games this season in their home building that can accommodate 7,046 fans for hockey and drew an average of 2,389.

According to the AHL website, the only team that had a lower average attendance last season were the Albany Devils. That’s… Not good.

If the Canucks were able to move their AHL operations to Abbotsford, the farm team would be only about 45 miles away. That makes for a vastly better set-up for call-up/send-down purposes.

A hockey board meeting is set for September 7 in Abbotsford involving members of the Flames organization.

  1. loinstache - Aug 18, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    guaranteed Canuck fans would fix the attendance, most fans are from the surrounding area anyways

  2. mugatuu - Aug 18, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    As someone who lives in metro Vancouver, the sole reason I don’t go to Heat games is because they are Calgarys affiliate. Because they are a strong divisional rival, many other Canuck fans feel the same way. And I guarantee that if Abbotsford became the Canucks farm club, it would be sold out almost every home game.

  3. thomaspratt - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    I live just over the border in Washington, no more than 45 min from Abbotsford. The building is very nice, but I wouldn’t give the Flames organization the steam off my pee. If the Canucks farm team were to move to Abby, I would definitely be there.

  4. bigoldorcafromvan - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    It would be a very good business deal if they can get the Heat to move. Going the way the Heat are going they will be broke or folded in 2 years. Get it done for this year. If the Heat could do something say in Saskatoon it might work for them. Abbotsford Wolves ..sounds good to me.

  5. t16rich - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    This lacrosse fan still wishes Aquilini will bring a team back to Vancouver area. But awesome idea to move the farm team local. No doubt that Canucks vs Flames rivalry has resulted in the lack of success in Abbotsford, especially if you recognize that the rivalry has been fired up in recent years.

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