This has been bothering me for a while now, and I feel it's time I addressed an issue ignored by the local press.
While my home city of Troy celebrated the Tri City Valleycats' rise to the NY-Penn League championship last month, there were two other teams that claim to call Troy home, but don't play their home games there. Instead, they're playing in Schenectady.
The Hellions of Troy, a women's roller derby team, had their home matches at Frear Park's ice rink last year. I'm not certain about attendance figures, but when fliers for the 2010 season began appearing, one glaring change caught my attention. Instead of returning to Frear Park for a 2nd season, the Hellions moved their home base all the way to Schenectady, specifically at Rollerama. What was wrong with staying in town and moving to the Knickerbocker Ice Arena in Lansingburgh, if there was a problem with Frear? Were they drawing enough people to Frear at all?
The one problem I could see with Frear was that it was off the bus line. By moving across town to Lansingburgh, it'd be a little easier for folks to take the bus, needing only to walk 3 blocks east to reach the arena.
A tougher pill to swallow has to do with the Troy Fighting Irish, a semi-pro football team that is playing for its league's championship this weekend, which, if they win, gives the city their 2nd championship in as many months. However, after playing their home games at Troy High the last couple of years, the Irish moved to Schenectady High this year.
In each case, there was no mention of why the teams moved to the Electric City, leaving only speculation as to the reasons for the moves. I would submit that during the summer months, attendance would be a problem, with most folks gravitating to Joe Bruno Stadium to see the Valleycats, but nothing was ever stated in the press that I could discern.
For the Hellions, there are no league titles to be had, that I know of, but for the Fighting Irish of the Collar City, a league championship rings a little hollow this year, because they're actually representing Troy in name only on the field. It would be in the best interests of the teams and the city to return to Troy in 2011. That's all that's really needed.