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Reading's Sovereign Center Selected As Top Ten Minor League Venue

June 10, 2008 - ECHL (ECHL) - Reading Royals News Release


Reading, PA - The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League and the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, today announced that the Sovereign Center in Reading, Pennsylvania, the Royals' home facility, was selected as a Top Ten Minor League Venue in an on-line poll conducted by MLN Sports for the current issue of its digital magazine, SZ. The Sovereign Center, which will host the 2009 ECHL All-Star Celebration as a part of "Hockey Week in Reading," placed eighth in the fans' poll.

"The Sovereign Center is thrilled to be one of the top ten minor league venues in the U.S., and we look forward to being number one next year," said Zane Collings, the General Manager of the Sovereign Center. "The staff of the Sovereign Center and the Reading Royals work very hard to provide the best customer service possible."

The Sovereign Center was one of seven ECHL venues selected in the poll's top ten. There were more than 11,700 votes cast for venues of over 800 teams in baseball, basketball, football, hockey and lacrosse. Fans were allowed only one vote from an IP address and votes from club office IP addresses were discarded so the rankings were totally fan driven.

The top minor league facility chosen in the MLN Sports fans' poll was Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas, which was followed by Round Rock Diamond in Round Rock, Texas. The Arena at Gwinnett Center, home of the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL, finished third in the voting. Other ECHL venues placing in the top ten included the Dayton Bombers' E.J. Nutter Center (fourth), the Stockton Thunder's Stockton Arena (fifth), the Florida Everblades' Germain Arena (sixth), the Bakersfield Condors' Rabobank Arena (seventh), and the Las Vegas Wranglers' Orleans Arena (tenth).

The ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams playing in four states, the Premier ‘AA' Hockey League has grown into a coast-to-coast league that will have 24 teams in 16 states and British Columbia playing 864 games from Oct. 17, 2008 to Apr. 4, 2009. Nineteen of the 24 teams have played at least five years in their current city. The third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League, the ECHL averaged 4,174 per game last season, marking the fourth year in row and the 16th time in the last 18 years that the league has averaged over 4,000 fans. The league has drawn over four million fans each of the last five years and 11 times in the past 12 seasons.

The Royals open the 2008-08 regular season against the Elmira Jackals on Friday, October 17, 2008 at First Arena in Elmira, New York. The Royals' home opener is set for Saturday, October 25, 2008, when the Johnstown Chiefs visit the Sovereign Center. Royals' full Season Tickets and Total Choice Flex Plans are now on sale. To obtain more information on becoming a part Royals' hockey, call 610-898-PUCK to speak with Royals' ticket representative or visit the Royals website, www.royalshockey.com.


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