ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — If you want to see an Albany Devils game, you’d better buy your tickets now. Sources tell NEWS10 ABC the team will be moving to Binghamton after this season.
NEWS10 ABC spoke with some of the Devils players Thursday morning about the relocation and it seemed like many of them were still processing the news. For fans, the news was devastating.
Chris Luft was at a loss for words when he found out his favorite team would no longer be a short drive away.
“I was stunned, completely stunned, and literally on the upset side,” Luft said.
Luft has been a season ticket holder for the past four seasons.
“Section 118, row DD which is right near the ice, so they’re pretty good seats,” Luft said.
Before that, Luft was a River Rats fan and he watched that team leave too.
“It’s tough,” Luft said. “Seeing one team leave and the next thing you know, another team is moving out. It’s tough.”
Devils players who once took on the Binghamton Senators will take over their arena after this season.
“A few teams in the league are kind of moving around and that’s just part of the American Hockey League,” said Ben Thompson, Left Wing for the Albany Devils.
“I don’t think there’s really anything any of us can do so it’s kind of out of our control right now,” said Max Novak, Center for the Albany Devils. “We just heard the news so well just take it day by day,”
A source close to the relocation plans confirmed the Devils will be moving to Binghamton at the end of the season and says these plans have been in the works since the end of Binghamton’s contract with the Senators. Players after practice on Thursday say they love their fans in the Capital Region, but there just aren’t enough of them.
“The core group of fans here in Albany is great but the venue is just, I don’t think we have that many people,” Novak said.
“It’s a big arena as well and it’s tough when you have 3000 great fans, it doesn’t look as full as it could,” Thompson said.
They’ll continue to play hard when they hit the ice. Fans like Luft are hoping for the team’s final season in Albany and that they’ll make the rest of the season a great one.
“I just hope they finish strong,” Luft said. “Make the playoffs and hopefully, take home the Calder Cup in the summer.”
NEWS10 did reach out to the Times Union Center for comment on the move, but have not yet heard back.