River Drivers Suspend Operations
Berlin, NH - The Berlin River Drivers organization would like to thank everyone involved for the 2016-2017 season. BRD fans from Berlin and the surrounding areas came out in force to enjoy fast paced, hard hitting hockey at the Notre Dame Arena. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep the team alive.
With changes in the infrastructure, an increase in projected expenses, and demands from the league, an early season pass drive was the answer. Looking to sell 1,000 season passes after just losing in the last game of the Championship round didn't come anywhere close to meeting this necessary mark. A huge thank you to the fans who took a leap of faith; you, of course, will be refunded for your investment.
The River Drivers accomplished many things in two years. Sponsors shook off the unknown and jumped on board. It was a beautiful thing and the momentum had begun; however, the team still needed more businesses to advertise and partner with to keep it going.
The annual budget, with teams in CT, IL, MI, NC, NY, and ON is estimated at $400,000 and up. That's if everything goes perfectly. The overhead expenses such as housing, insurance, payroll, travel, etc are already a challenge to meet at this level of hockey. Now with the league expanding, travel from Berlin would be atrocious.
In two seasons, the players that passed through Berlin left their own personal marks. Fan favorite, team enforcer, and all around great kid, Nick Wright, will never be forgotten. A lot of players from numerous countries were taken in and loved by the fans. But in the end, ticket sales, concession sales, and a greater amount of sponsors needed, prevents the necessary blood flow from keeping the big heart of the River Drivers from ticking on.
Thank you to the fans, sponsors, arena staff, and game night volunteers for 2 years of great pro hockey in Berlin, NH, "Hockey Town, USA"!