I think the Checkers are going to regret this move in the long run. Bojangles Coliseum is in a "dicey" part of town. I've been there for graduations the past 3 years and it's been the same small cramped place it was since it last underwent renovations in the early 90's. It's going to need a lot more than $16 million (the number I read it will cost to "spruce it up"). The concourse is narrow and not pedestrian friendly at all. The location is "dicey", and there's no public transportation to the building.
I fear I'm going to see a headline along the lines of "Checkers finically struggling, will relocate" in the future.
You're spot on. Prior to their move to TWC, I saw a few ECHL Checkers games in Bojangles. I had a mini-pack with the Canes, but when the Checkers announced the move to the AHL, I immediately bought full STs and have been a STH ever since. This was my last year, given the move to the Chicken Coop. I will admit, I was spoiled because I work right next to TWC and sit in the Royal Box area with my family, so the move to Bojangles created not only inconvenience, but a huge step down in ammenities. The TWC is a professional sports arena and Bojangles is an ECHL dump. There's no place convenient to eat around there prior to games, not to mention (as you did) security is an issue in that bad part of town. Facing a budget shortfall of $22MM, the Charlotte City council voted last night to spend the $1MM to replace the seats in the arena, but if they need to vote on each dispersement of $16MM, there is some risk that the other $15MM won't be spent to upgrade the place. (Albeit, this is a "tax and spend" City Council.)
The Checkers tell you that the reason they're moving is financial (much cheaper lease) and it removes Hornets/concert scheduling conflicts, both of which are true, but the spin to fans that this move is going to improve the game experience is comical. Capacity will drop from 10.1k to 8.7k so yeah, it will seem as though the place is more packed, but when you consider the remote location away from the bars, restaurants, and employment of fans, the overall attendance is sure to drop considerably. I don't want the Checkers to fold. I love the Checkers but if they are struggling financially to the point that they need to move to this dump, I certainly fear for their long-term survival. As a STH, I've seen ST benefits erode considerably over the years.