Sadly, Phantoms leaving area

   Comcast-Spectacor announced yesterday that the AHL Phantoms would be sold to a Pittsburgh group and that they will be leaving the area.

   No location has been announced, but there are indications that the club will eventually play in Lehigh Valley, where a new arena will have to be built.

    The team is leaving Philadelphia, of course, because the Specrum will be torn down in the fall to make room for Philly Live, a restaurant, shopping complex.

   I'm all for Philly Live. It will be great for that portion of the city.


   Wouldn't it have been better if the iconic Spectrum was spared and renovated....and a mini-Philly Live complex had been added to it?

   Sometimes, smaller is better.

   With today's struggling economy, it's fair to ask how many retail stores or restaurants will be willing to invest in the complex. And tearing down the Spectrum makes it much difficult for the Flyers to monitor their top minor-league affiliate  _ and send players back and forth to the two teams.

   When it was decided that the Spectrum would be knocked down, Comcast-Spectacor had looked into building an arena in the Cherry Hill  area. But the project was deemed too expensive, so, sadly, an ideal Flyers-Phantoms setup _ the teams use the same practice facility in Voorhees, and play home games next-door to each other _ is about to go by the wayside.