Recently an article was posted on the Sports Business Daily website, ranking the entire minor league sports scene in the United States. Taking the 66th spot on this list, my home: Dayton, Ohio.
Dayton ranks third of the cities in Ohio listed, behind #2 Toledo and #46 Akron. Seven total Ohio areas made the list, with #144 Eastlake, T-#145 Youngstown-Niles, #170 Avon, and #181 Canton representing 212 areas. Taking the top spot on this list was the Quad Cities region of Moline, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa. At the 212th spot: Odessa, Texas.
Currently, Dayton is the home of the Demolition of the Federal Hockey League and the Dragons of the Midwest League [Minor League Baseball.] Dayton was also the home of the USL Dutch Lions for a few seasons (while the USL team is no more, the Dutch Lions still operate in the Premier Development League.)
Here’s the tweet that I’ve found (from @MonroeBlade) that linked the article from Sports Business Daily: https://twitter.com/MonroeBlade/status/633400214079033344
Since the original article was published, the Dayton Business Journal had an article about the ranking.
While the 66th ranking might not be eye-raising, there are some things to also take in consideration about the Dayton market. First off, the Dayton-area has been home to a hockey team every season since 1991, the first year of the ECHL Dayton Bombers. It’s been the Bombers (’91-2009), Ice Bandits (1996-97 season), Gems (2009-2012), Demonz (2012-2015), and Demolition (beginning November 2015) in that streak. In a city that has seen a colorful, fruitful hockey history, the streak only adds to a great minor league hockey scene. Also, don’t forget about the Dayton Dragons and that amazing streak of sell-out games (at the end of the 2014 season, the streak made it to 1,051 games sold out.)
Out of curiosity, I looked at the foes of the Dayton Dragons and Demolition to see where the rivals ranked.
For the Dragons in the Midwest League (Single-A level of Minor League Baseball), the Quad Cities River Bandits, Clinton LumberKings, and the Burlington Bees were the #1 area (also a former opponent of the 2009-12 Gems play there too, in the Mallards), the Fort Wayne TinCaps in the #3 spot (also the ECHL affiliate for the Dayton Demonz the last three years). Sitting at #10, the Grand Rapids, Michigan area (home to the West Michigan Whitecaps), followed by #18 Peoria (Chiefs), #21 Appleton, Wisconsin (Timber Rattlers), #35 Cedar Rapids (Kernels), #41 South Bend, Indiana (Cubs, formerly the Silver Hawks), then Dayton hits the list at #66. After the home of the Dragons, it’s #79 Lansing (Lugnuts), #92 Midland, Michigan (Great Lakes Loons), #104 Beloit, Wisconsin (Snappers), #105 Geneva, Illinois (Kane County Cougars), #122 Bowling Green, Kentucky (Hot Rods), and #144 Eastlake (Lake County Captains).
For the Demolition of the Federal Hockey League, Dayton’s on top with the 66th spot. Behind Dayton is Danville at #75 (Dashers), #124 Watertown, New York (Wolves), #161 Danbury-Bridgeport, Connecticut (Titans), and #194 Port Huron, Michigan (Prowlers.) Berlin, New Hampshire and Brewster, New York are not on the list, but both of these towns are new to the league for 2015-2016.
In other places close to Dayton, Florence, Kentucky made the 118th spot with the Frontier League’s Freedom. Florence is a couple of minutes away south of Cincinnati. Louisville, Kentucky (home of the Triple-A and Reds affiliate Bats and formerly of the Xtreme, a foe of the Dayton Sharks) hit at #201. Columbus, Ohio (Clippers) did not make the list, but the other teams are either pro (Crew, Blue Jackets) or collegiate.
Dayton has a lot to be proud of in terms of a sports scene. From high school teams, to several collegiate programs, and some great options to watch pro sports, Dayton is a happening sports scene. Add in being less than an hour away from Cincinnati, Southwest Ohio is great for sports.
Until next time,
It’s a new time for Dayton hockey. The Dayton Demolition were unveiled yesterday (Broadcast from the Gem City Sports Network) (Footage from WDTN NBC Channel 2), replacing the Dayton Demonz. The Demolition will play at Hara Arena as a member of the Federal Hockey League, just as the Demonz done since the 2012-2013 season.
At the Englewood Buffalo Wild Wings, just north of the old hockey barn, fans got to meet the new owner Bill Dadds. Folks also got caught up with their friends and the new coaches of the Demolition, Head Coach Jack Collins and Assistant Coach/Forward Brett Wall. Both gentlemen are ingrained into the fabric of Dayton Hockey history. The Demolition’s colors will officially be red, yellow, and gray. The red color will stay from the previous season, as the Demonz were officially red, black, and white.
In the Federal Hockey League, there will only be one returning team from last year in the Danville (IL) Dashers. While there will be a team in Danbury, Connecticut again, it will not be the Whalers. Instead, they will be the Danbury Titans owned by Bruce Bennett. Also joining the league this year will be the Brewster (NY) Bulldogs, the Berlin (NH) River Drivers, and the Port Huron (MI) Prowlers. The 2014-2015 FHL Champions, the Watertown Wolves, will be inactive this season due to arena renovations.
I’m very excited to see what this 2015-2016 will bring. I hope you, the fan, are excited for it too. I’ll be sure to share as much as I can on my twitter, @theleewmowen. Follow the Dayton Demolition on Twitter, as more news continues to fly out during the off-season. Welcome in the Dayton Demolition!
Until next time,
For the past two summers, I’ve been the voice of the Dutch Lions soccer programs in Southwest Ohio. This year, I’ve had the call of the Dayton and Cincinnati Premier Development League teams, as well as the Dayton W-League squad on the Gem City Sports Network (all archives are located here if you’d like to take a listen.) Today, I’d like to share with you my experiences for the 2015 season.
This season, I’ve called every game from Dayton on the track level of DOC Stadium (a new press box was being built during the season) and between the benches of Xavier University’s Corcoran Field. I was also switching from broadcasting on a video feed to audio-only, making my describing nature come out in full force.
For the first time since 2010, the Dayton Dutch Lions were in the PDL (they’ve been a member of the USL PRO level [now simply USL] from that season until now.) Cincinnati was coming off a successful first year, almost clinching a playoff spot in the South Atlantic Division. The Dayton W-League team were looking to bounce back from a tough 2014 season.
All three teams were packed with talent, with a majority of players coming from local colleges. Dayton, Wright State, Cincinnati, Xavier, Northwestern Ohio, and others were represented on all three teams. As a local Daytonian who now works for two colleges, it’s fantastic to see these athletes stay close and play the sport they love in the off-season.
The Cincinnati Dutch Lions were the lone team of the three to make the playoffs, and they have a date in Charlotte on July 21st. The Eagles went 3-0-0 against Cincinnati on the season, finishing an impressive 10-0-4 in their first season in the PDL (also a former USL PRO member, now in the PDL.) The Dayton Dutch Lions finished 3-9-2, and the W-League Dutch Lions ended the year 7-4-1, just out of reach of a playoff spot.
I enjoyed my time broadcasting the Dutch Lions this season, and I certainly hope the folks that tuned in over the season did too. I appreciate the coaches for their time after the game, recapping the match. I just appreciate my time broadcasting another season in Dayton and Cincinnati. Luckily, I don’t have too much longer to watch for more soccer, as the college seasons begin next month. Broadcasting soccer is a treat for me, watching the action take its course on the pitch.
I hope you friends, followers, and readers are ready for my experiences working for two universities soon! Mid-August: it begins again.
Until next time,
I’d like to share with you my appearance on the Dayton Demonz Podcast, created by current Wright State student Kristen Gartland. In the video, I explain what I do for the Demonz, why I wanted to be a broadcaster, and a little bit on my background in broadcasting.
Until next time,
I’d like to mention an award I’m in the running for, and I’d also like to ask you, the reader, for your help. I’m in the running for the 2014-2015 Federal Hockey League Broadcaster of the Year against four other nominees.
Wolves Lose Lead Late; Claw Out 6-5 OT Victory in Dayton
By Lee W. Mowen
DAYTON, OHIO- In a battle of 1st and 2nd Place teams in the Federal Hockey League, there’s only one thing fans can expect: A no-holds-barred battle, clawing and mangling a way for a victory. Hold on tight, this turned out to be a battle for all the marbles.