Are The Mudbugs Making a Comeback?
For 14 years, hockey was staple of life in the Ark-La-Tex. The Mudbugs were one of the most successful semi-pro hockey teams during their time, and they certainly left their mark on a city starving for a hockey revival.
In 2011 (hard to believe it's been that long), the Mudbugs won the CHL Presidents Cup Championship. That's equivalent to the NHL's Stanley Cup, the NFL's Lombardi Trophy, the MLB's Commisioner's Trophy, the NBA's Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.
They won the granddaddy of them all, and they did so in impressive fashion, beating the Colorado Eagles 2-1 on enemy ice in game 7 of the CHL Finals.
Three days after the Mudbugs won it all, they held a fan rally for the team at the Centurylink Center. Over 500 loyal 'Bugs fans showed up and it was certainly a joyous occasion.
The joy was short lived. In the two years of owning the franchise, Tommy and Leslie Scott lost over $1.5 million and simply couldn't do it any longer. Tommy decided that if the 'Bugs could get 2,500 season ticket-holders by the end of the week (the CHL deadline) the 'Bugs could have at least one more year. The tally at the end of the week was 1,331, and just like that, the Mudbugs were no more.
The banners came down, the players left town, and it hasn't felt the same since.
Sure the Battlewings also closed up shop, and baseball left the area for good, but there was something different about the Mudbugs. The Ark-La-Tex without hockey just doesn't feel right.
It seems we may be getting a shot at redemption come 2016. Roy Lang III with the Shreveport Times wrote an article that has sparked extreme optimism among hockey fans and Mudbugs faithful here in town.
The title reads, "Is hockey set for Shreveport revival?"
That title alone is enough to put a smile on my face from ear to ear. Of course we've all heard rumors of a return since 2011, but seeing it printed gives the potential return instant credibility and brings justified optimism to many.
The biggest obstacle in the way now? A new place to call home.
Here's an excerpt from Roy's article:
There isn’t ice available in this town. The well-known financial commitment to play at the CenturyLink Center leaves Bossier City out of the mix.
However, if there was one benefactor from the departure of the area’s most-recent minor-league sport’s defector – the Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks of the ABA – it could be hockey.
The Mavericks were the main tenant at Hirsch Coliseum. The potential hockey investors would like to put some money (millions) into the Hirsch and bring the Mudbugs back to their original home.
Seeing the Mudbugs back at the Hirsch would mean a lot to me and I'm sure many of you. There was simply nothing like watching a Mudbugs game with a packed house at the Coliseum. Also, if the investors use "millions" to improve the Hirsch, seeing that venue bounce back would provide quite the boost for our city.
To read Roy's full story on the potential revival, and get information on the league they'll be playing in, click HERE.
I don't know about you, but I'm ready to throw some plastic crawfish on the ice after a goal.