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Brooklyn Aviators

Aviators close to hanging up sticks

Skating into the history books: The Aviators may shut down its operation if it doesn't get some new financial backers.
Brooklyn Daily

Wanna buy a hockey team?

Aviators’ owners are desperately seeking outside financiers to help them with their two-year-old minor league hockey squad’s operating costs — and if they don’t find a new cash supply soon, Brooklyn’s Boys of Winter could be hanging up their hockey sticks and go the way of the Brooklyn Dodgers, sources close to the team said.

“The Aviators are looking for alternative means of finance,” team owner Brian O’Donahue admitted this week, but said the A’s are hoping to begin its third season at the Aviator Sports and Recreation Center — which the team’s rabid fans call the Hangar — in Mill Basin this fall. “It’s no secret that this hockey team is not a money-making operation, but we know it can be. That’s why we’re looking for alternate sources of income. We’re taking it step by step and hope that nothing about the team will change.”

But sources from inside the Federal Hockey League, which the Aviators belong to, aren’t surprised that the Aviators are in trouble — minor league teams are notorious for bleeding cash, they said.

“Everybody loses money in this venture, the Danbury Whalers are probably the only team that makes money right now,” said a source close to the Aviators. “It’s minor league sports and it’s a product you have to build.”

The Brooklyn Aviators — formerly the Brooklyn Aces — exploded onto the minor-league skating scene during the Federal Hockey League’s premier 2010-2011 season. The A’s won 21 straight games during its freshman year, ending the season as the Federal Hockey League’s top-ranked team before falling to the hated Akwesasne Warriors in the fourth round of the Commissioner’s Cup series.

Last season was less impressive: the Aviators finished in fourth place, before being defeated by the Danbury Whalers in the first round of the playoffs.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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Reader Feedback

Malembi from BK says:
You can't "hang up" a stick, ——.
March 28, 2012, 2:14 pm
Jason from Brooklyn says:
We can't lose the Aviators! Brooklyn needs them! Such a great family frendly atmosphere at a cut rate opposed to the Islanders/Rangers/Devils.
March 28, 2012, 2:57 pm
domish13 from NYC says:
Other than the die-hard and Danbury hockey fans, not too many people know that Brooklyn has a hockey team. Unfortunately, Aviator Rink is not readily accessible to public transportation. Abe Stark Rink in Coney Island would be a better venue in that regard.
March 28, 2012, 5:42 pm
joe from danbury says:
as a whaler fan,it saddens me to hear this news. minor league hockey is a great thing for players,and fans alike. i enjoy having a close rival team. ive been to the "hangar" during the playoffs and in my opinion the building has too many things to offer its visitors,that distract them from going to the game. i really hope that the people involved can find a new venue that promotes hockey/skating only like the danbury ice arena,and the A's can stick around to hate the whalers and us fans....please re-think this desicion, sincerely.
March 29, 2012, 5:32 pm
Ant from Ct says:
Brooklyn actually beat Danbury in the playoffs last year, nice fact checking!!!
March 30, 2012, 9:01 am
Joe Mac from Mill Basin says:
Actually there is a bus that takes you from the junction right to the front of Aviator so getting there is not that much of a problem.... Abe Stark also does not have the seating to handle a pro hockey team and it is a second class arena....
March 30, 2012, 3:01 pm
domish13 from NYC says:
I know about the Q-35 bus. That is the only option to get to Aviator via public transportation, either from the junction or from Rockaway Park.

I have seen a game at Abe Stark in August at the world police/fire games, seats are on one side of the rink, raised above ice level. Capacity is about 800, probably can put in temporary seating to increase it to 1,000. Much better sightlines than at Aviator and not "second class" at all.

In order to see the whole ice at Aviator, you have to stand in the last row at either end of the rink.

BTW, the Ice Vault in Wayne, NJ, where the Outlaws play, seats about 700 tops.
March 30, 2012, 3:29 pm
domish13 from NYC says:
It looks like the Aviators are moving to Dayton, Ohio. If you go to their website, it says "Dayton Hockey Coming Soon!"
May 21, 2012, 3:39 pm
Elvis Kraljev from Bensonhurst says:
Being a die-hard hockey fan my whole life, I would take my daughter to see the NY Rangers @ the Garden and easily go for $100-$150 every game (bet tickets,parking, soda, popcorn, hotdogs, etc).

The Brookyn Aviators provided a financial breath of fresh air and nostalgia of community pride.

I jumped on being a season holder the very first year when they were called the "Brooklyn Aces".
I was beaming with Brooklyn pride as I told all my friends, family and my store customers about the new "Brooklyn Hockey Team"

However, thru out the 1st season, I noticed the dismal attendence and asked myself "How can they operate and sustain a profitable business with only 100- 200 fans in the stands each game in a borough of 4 million people?"

The Brooklyn Cyclones have it down pat, Location! Location! Location!

To all the Aviator regular season holders and fans who eventually become my friends, see you @ the Cyclone games.
June 19, 2012, 11:22 am

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