<< Back: The 1970s
The Reds storied 51-year history produced four AHL Calder Cup titles, hundreds of top quality hockey players, thousands of thrills, and millions of wonderful memories for the team's loyal rooters.
Two drastic changes in the early 1970s seem to have led to the team's demise: Because of expansion in the NHL and creation of the WHA, the switch from a skilled veterans league to a less-talented, youthful development circuit, and the move from the old smoke-filled, leaky-roofed, chicken-wired Auditorium of 5,500 seats to the new, pristine 11,000 seat Civic Center.
Even with 6,000 in attendance, the new Civic Center looked empty and cold in the eyes of longtime Reds' faithfuls. To them, the ambiance and intimacy of the old Arena could never be duplicated. Neither could the skills of former players to which they had been accustomed.
In 1991 there was a resurgence of AHL hockey locally with the introduction of the
Providence Bruins (top farm team of Boston). A new fan base of younger followers has given the franchise a solid support. Crowds of nearly 12,000 now pack what now known as the
Dunkin Donuts Center on Friday evenings, known today as "Hockey Night" in
So AHL hockey is back in Rhode Island. And doing quite well, thank you.
Reds fans came to love the R.I. Auditorium's smoke-filled atmosphere,
leaky roof and chicken wire above the boards.
Thanks to the Providence
Bruins, AHL hockey is again
alive and well in Rhode Island.