Jim Riggs interview

Aces Over Brooklyn- What is the situation with the Hudson Valley Bears? Are they finished?

Jim Riggs- They are not finished. We are currently looking for another ownership group for them. It was no secret that it was a league-run team last year. We think that it is better for everyone involved if that team has local ownership that really focuses on marketing the product in that area. There's a minor league baseball team that plays there, the Hudson Valley Renegades and we hope that whoever takes over the team uses them as a model and take this team and run with it. They can provide great family entertainment that is affordable and we know for sure that the Newburgh building is willing to put in addition seating if the right ownership group surfaces.

So finding a new ownership group for this team is another one of our projects that we are working on. We really want them to be one of the teams that returns and does there own thing like the other teams did last season.

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AOB- Danbury was also having problems last season. Have they found a new ownership group?

Riggs- They have a local group that is currently in lease negotiations with the Danbury Arena. Hopefully, we can hear some positive feedback on that over the next week or so when they are ready to move forward. I use a flip remark when I talk to people and tell them that they can have the best of intentions, have the best coach in the world and the greatest logo, you could even have the greatest sales staff, but it all boils down to the lease. If you don't have a lease that you can live with, it makes it very difficult to operate. All these operators are looking to try and get the best possible lease. They're all fixed costs and once they have that, they'll know what they have to work with.

AOB- I've spoken a bunch of the players and fans this offseason and most of them feel that they have been kept out of the loop, as the league and team websites hasn't been updated in quite some time. Are you planning to change the way you deliver information in the future?

Riggs- Yes we are, but I am not a believer in, rightfully or wrongfully, in putting out half information. To put out a press release that says: 'EPHL close to adding teams' isn't my style. I would rather just put out a press release that says which teams we've added. This is where you run into frustration, not only for us, but for the fans that check the website for information. We haven't provided a lot of information like we should, but to answer your question, we're going to have much more inter-relation between the team websites and the league website this upcoming season. Basically to utilize the well-written work on the Brooklyn and New Jersey websites and make sure they show up on the league website and vice-versa.

We didn't have a full-time webmaster last season either, which was part of the problem. Sometimes it was me or sometimes it was Ryan Wegs or someone else. We need to find one person who just takes the ball and runs with it.

AOB- What do you think was the most positive thing to come out of the first season of the EPHL?

Riggs- The quality o play. Some say it was a beer league, but I was very proud of the quality of play. The three playoff games we're as good as any you'd see at the minor league level. I'm sure some people may think I'm crazy and must be wondering what I'm drinking when they hear something like that, but I loved the passion and the intensity that I saw out there from those guys. Both teams we're very focused. It's just too bad that more people didn't see that.

Upon finishing this piece, I've noticed that I still have a hefty section of tape to cover, so sometime over the week, I'll add one more post to finish everything up. See you then.

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 11/13/2019


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