Nine Albany Sports Teams You May Have Forgotten
The Capital Region has seen its share of sports teams come and go over the years. Just about every sport you can think of has had some kind of representation in the area. Baseball, basketball, lacrosse, soccer, hockey - the list goes on and on. Here are a few teams that called the Albany area home at some point in time.
1. Capital Region Pontiacs
It was a rebranding of the Albany Patroons basketball team, basically where the team's naming rights were sold to area Pontiac dealers. The team played under the Pontiacs name for one season in the fall of 1992 to the spring of 1993.
2. Albany Firebirds
The Albany Firebirds arena football team had a great eleven season run from 1990 to 2000. Games were played at the Knickerbocker Arena/Pepsi Arena until the team relocated to Indianapolis in 2001.
3. Albany Attack
Professional lacrosse first made its debut in the Capital Region in 2000. The Albany Attack lacrosse team ran from 2000-2003, playing at the Pepsi Arena. After the 2003 season the team moved to California and was rebranded as the San Jose Stealth.
4. Albany-Colonie Yankees
What a run this team had. The Albany-Colonie Yankees were a AA affiliate of the New York Yankees. They played at the now demolished Heritage Park in Colonie from 1985 until they moved to Norwich, Connecticut after the 1994 season. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte all played for the team.
5. Albany Conquest
After the Albany Firebirds left, arena football returned to Albany's Pepsi Arena in 2002 with the Albany Conquest, part of the AF2 league. It didn't capture the spirit of the fans as much as the Firebirds had, even when the team re-adopted the Albany Firebirds name in 2009. After the 2009 season the entire league folded.
6. Albany Choppers
The Choppers played in the IHL from 1990-1991 at the Knickerbocker Arena. Price Chopper was a part owner in the team, hence the name. Attendance was sparse and the team struggled financially. They folded after one season.
7. Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs
After the Albany-Colonie Yankees moved to Connecticut at the end of the 1994 season, baseball still had a home at Colonie's Heritage Park. In 1995 the Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs debuted on the field. The team was part of an independent league unaffiliated with the MLB, but still provided semi-pro baseball for the Capital Region from 1995 until 2002.
8. Albany River Rats
The wildly popular AHL team played at the Knickerbocker Arena/Pepsi Arena/Times Union Center from 1993 until 2010. Most of that time they were an affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. After the 2010 season, the team moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.
[ ‘Albany v Philly’ photo by Jessica, via Flickr: No changes made (CC BY-SA 2.0)]
9. Albany Capitals
The Capitals were a pro soccer team that played in the American Soccer League from 1988 to 1991. They played at Troy's Bleecker Stadium.