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Today in the "A": Falcons at Nationwide?

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Today in the A, is something that remains in the planning stages for both the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Springfield Falcons.

After a meeting of executives from both clubs late in the season, one of the topics on the table was the possibility of the Falcons playing a regular season game at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The proposal on the table at that time was a home and home series against the Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado Avalanche). Lake Erie, because geographically they would be the most sensible opponent.

Apparently the biggest stumbling block to the Nationwide debut of the Birds has been the new scheduling initiative, instituted by the AHL for next season. The primary focus was the reduction in total games from 80 to 76. A stumbling block because, this already reduces the Falcons number of home dates from 40 to 38. In other words, two fewer dates to get the fans in the building. There is concern among the Falcons front office that by further reducing the home schedule to 37 games, that there may be an adverse impact on season ticket subscribers, for one. While there would be revenue generated in a Nationwide game, the Falcons significant increase in expenses for the proposed games would take a chunk of that money off the table. Also of concern, is if a Lake Erie "home" game is added, who gets cut from a date in Springfield? The Falcons draw well against some regional opponents and again, there is concern that a possible Nationwide game could adversely alter the remaining home schedule.

The 2011-2012 AHL schedule has yet to be finalized, but at this point, it's looking less likely that the Falcons will be at home in Columbus.

Similarly, on last week's edition of Falcons Web TV, Bruce Landon responds to a question, wondering about the possibility of the Blue Jackets taking part in a preseason game at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

Landon tells us that the upcoming preseason schedule for the NHL has already been finalized, and a date in Springfield is not on the docket for this coming season. He also mentions that the relationship thus far with Columbus has been great and suggests that both parties may be interested in extending the working affiliation. Going forward, Landon thinks, it's a strong possibility that the Jackets will pay Springfield a preseason visit.