Bandits seek permission to move playoffs to Hershey Lack of Arena dates prompts request for move

March 31, 1997|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The Bandits have not clinched a spot in the Calder Cup playoffs, and, if and when they do, it's all but certain their first-round home games against the Philadelphia Phantoms will be played in Hershey, Pa.

"As opposed to previous years," explained team owner Mike Caggiano, "the American Hockey League has set a deadline of [tomorrow] for teams to provide dates and times for first-round games.

"We couldn't get confirmed dates for April 23 and April 25 at the Baltimore Arena because the [NPSL Baltimore] Spirit is entering its playoffs and it has first consideration.

"Our league rules state that we have to offer [probable opponent] Philadelphia the dates first, but the Phantoms said they couldn't handle them. We talked to Hershey about playing there and worked out a pretty good deal. But Philadelphia says it doesn't want to play there, so we've asked the president of the league for permission to play our home dates there."

Because the Bandits are required to designate a site for their games by tomorrow, a decision on the Hershey proposal is expected today from league president and commissioner Dave Andrews.

"If you recall," Caggiano continued, "we weren't sure about our playoff home dates until three days before we played our first game last year. The league pushed the deadline up two weeks, enabling the teams to market the playoffs and give the teams time to sell some tickets."

Pub Date: 3/31/97

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