#18: I-64 Rivalry Between Hampton Roads and Richmond
The Admirals 25th home opener on October 11 is just 18 days away! So we are counting down the days recognizing 25 memorable moments in the 25 years of Admirals Hockey, in a segment we call 25 in 25. Each day we will highlight a great moment in the Admirals proud 25-year history to get you set for the 2013-14 home opener!
#18: I-64 Rivalry (1990-2000)
Well no Admirals memorable countdown could be without mentioning the heated rivalry between the Hampton Roads Admirals and the Richmond Renegades. Nearly 90 miles of Interstate 64 separated the Norfolk Scope and the Richmond Coliseum. Regardless the venue, you could bet a packed house when these two teams met. After Admirals victories at Scope, nearly 8,000 fans chanted "64 West, 64 West, 64 West…" which was the way Admirals fans would kindly give directions home to their foes from the state capital.
Even the most casual of Admirals fans back in those days, would always say "The Richmond Game." This would either be in reference to a game they recently attended, or the game they bought their tickets in advance for.
A matchup between these two teams always presented a fight or two on the ice, and even sometimes in the stands, as the two fan bases were not too fond of each other either.
Fueling the rivalry was the competitive nature of both franchises. The two teams generally were always contenders to win the division, and not to mention both teams annually made lengthy postseason runs.
The rivalry ended at the conclusion of the 1999-2000 season, as the Admirals made the jump to American Hockey League the following year. As fate would have it during that first AHL season, the Admirals were forced to play a couple of "home" playoff games against the Hershey Bears at the Richmond Coliseum, and in the town that at one point cringed at the pure sight of blue & gold.
The Richmond Renegades ceased operations following the 2002-03 season. Many believe the loss of their closest and most fierce rival was to blame for the steady decline in attendance following the Admirals departure. This was further evidence that rivalries are key in hockey.
So who won the I-64 Rivalry? Well the Admirals posted a 44-36-11 regular season record against Richmond. The two teams met four times in the postseason, with each team taking two series apiece (Hampton Roads (1991, 1992) & Richmond (1996, 1997). In total the Admirals won three ECHL championships (1991, 1992, 1998), while Richmond won in 1995, and lost in the finals in 2000. We will give the rivalry edge to Hampton Roads of course!
The 25th season of Admirals hockey opens on October 5 at Hartford. The Admirals home opener will take place on Friday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. against the Binghamton Senators. The Admirals play host to the Charlotte Checkers in a preseason exhibition at Scope on September 28, beginning at 7:15 p.m. Preseason game tickets are on sale now for $10. Regular season single game tickets will go on sale beginning on Wednesday, September 25.
Game tickets are available through the Norfolk Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Don’t miss a minute of Admirals action by purchasing your season tickets today. Stop by the Admirals’ Administrative Offices at Scope, or call (757) 640-1212 Office hours are Monday - Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fans can also visit us online at www.norfolkadmirals.com