Trenton Titans to cease operations in 2013-2014

As first reported by Mike Ashmore of The Trentonian on Monday night, then confirmed via release on Tuesday afternoon, the Trenton Titans will be ceasing operations for the 2013-2014 season.

After five seasons as the Trenton Devils, the team reverted back to their original name of the Trenton Titans for the 2011-12 season and once again became the ECHL affiliate for the Philadelphia Flyers.  It’s been a tough two seasons for the Titans as they managed a combined record of 53-73-18, while finishing dead last in their conference last season and 11th this past season.

Ashmore conveys that financial struggles could be the motivation as attendance was suffering.

“Attendance dropped from an average of 3,012 in 2011-12, and rumors of financial woes were circulating throughout the team midway through the season.” Ashmore wrote. “Trenton averaged 2,578 fans over the course of its 36-game home schedule at the Sun National Bank Center and missed the postseason for the second straight year.”

It’s telling that attendance dropped even during a season in which there was an NHL lockout which forced AHL talent onto the Titans’ roster.  Marcel Noebels, Blake Kessel, Shane Harper, Phantoms’ leading scorer Jason Akeson, and goaltenders Cal Heeter and Niko Hovinen all saw time with the Titans this season.

Ashmore does go on to suggest that they could return to the league for the 2014-15 season, as other clubs in the league have suspended operations only to pick up at a later date.

Below is the full text of the release:

Princeton, NJ – The ECHL and Trenton Titans announced on Tuesday that the Trenton Titans have ceased operations and the team will not compete in the 2013-2014 season.

The last 14 seasons have seen numerous great players and moments, including several playoff appearances and a Kelly Cup title in 2005. Trenton also has had the privilege of working with many great NHL franchises, such as the New Jersey Devils and the current affiliate in the Philadelphia Flyers. These relationships were vital in the growth of Trenton hockey.

Most importantly the team would like to thank the fans for their support over the last 14 seasons. The Trenton organization fully intends to reimburse our loyal season ticket holders for their 2013-2014 season tickets. In the next couple of weeks there will be more information on how that process will proceed.

Again we would like to thank the fans, the community and our partners for their support. You are the reason the Trenton organization and Titans Nation were a strong and vital part of the ECHL and the New Jersey community in particular.

The only players to be adversely affected by the news are those under ECHL deals, who become unrestricted free agents. All other players who have been signed to professional deals will still be retained by their respective clubs.