Tuesday Dec. 2, 2008
AUGUSTA, Ga.---Besides the team suspending operation, losing the Lynx hurts many others as well. From the dozen or more employees to the fans.
Those are the people you never really see. From front office personal to the group sales and public relations. Even the part timers who work game night only. All now out of a job.
"Right now it's not a whole lot of fun. I have to figure out something to do for the time being" said Lynx public relations director A.J. Bembry
"Comes with the territory unfortunately" said Michael Ehmke, Lynx group sales manager "You hope it doesn't, but it did this time. I was with the Greenville Grrrowl when they went out of business."
General Manager Dan Troutman said he was going to do everything he possibly could to help those out. How about the fans? In the first year the Lynx averaged over 5400 a game. Just over 10 years later, the number dwindled to 2800.
"I'm frankly surprised we lasted this long" said season ticket holder Doug Linton "Folks in Augusta don't really support anything downtown. I was asked once at a baseball game if a downtown arena was a great idea, I said it was the worst idea I ever heard because folks need to get out of downtown."
Those who have stuck with the team are the die hard fans, who'll attend no matter what. They have a big void to fill.
"As big as a hockey fan I am, what else can I say" said Lynx fan Adam Kleba "What else can I say, I've met a lot of great friends down here at the hockey games. I feel like a part of me has been amputated tonight."
Hockey could eventually return to Augusta, in another league even, as soon as next year. That doesn't take the sting out of tonight's announcement.