Meh, not bad. I wish the team would rotate playing between the cities of Portland, Worcester, Springfield, and Providence. Do people actually go to the games in Maine? I saw a couple of the games on TV and it looks like they play in a high school gym.
Pretty much every game sold out last season.
Portland is one of the nicest cities in America. Great place to bring up young players IMO.
Not to get too off track but Portland has been subject to pretty significant changes over the last 20 years or so, resulting that (to my native eyes) more or less has very little of what made it lovely left. The various city council members and developers have been trying to turn it into "day trip Boston" since the early-to-mid 80's or so, though, so it isn't surprising, but it is a bit sad.
The Expo building's basketball court does look more or less like a high school gym, though. You're spot on there.
I mean... Boston and Portland are both a lot nicer since the 80's. What is so different about Portland besides the gradual influx of wealth and restaurants? The massive boost in restaurant quality alone is cause for celebration. There has been some crazy gentrification, and rent is totally out of control, but that speaks to America's increasing economic divide more than it does anything. So you get hipsters, tourists, and high rent. But I'll take that over crackpipes, shootings, and condemned buildings.
It's true something gets lost in translation - like the comfort of an authentic, "local" pub etc. But the alternative isn't great.
Was just in Manchester, NH the other day. That town is soooo sketchy. It's run-down, doesn't feel particularly safe. I doubt they draw a lot of tourists there. It's not a good look for NH's biggest city. They have an arena which could house the Red Claws, and a large population base in NH is Mass right nearby that would pack the stadium.
If i'm the C's though I wouldn't want my kids there. I'll take the hipsters. And Portland is a better ambassador for the region. In an era where impressing players is becoming increasingly important, a town like Portland reflects well on the parent organization. It's worth whatever ticket sales they are leaving on the table by not moving to a place like Manchester etc. and exposing impressionable young minds to it. Though the Expo is indeed small and high-school-esque, as Goldstar noted. But it's also right off 295, which helps.