The Sports Lounge presents… REMEMBER THEM: Monroe Moccasins
Perhaps the least known of the hockey franchises that have played in Louisiana are the Monroe Moccasins. The Moccasins played in the Monroe Civic Center in Monroe, LA from 1997 to 2001. They were members of the WPHL, the Western Professional Hockey League. The city was awarded an expansion franchise in May of 1997 and began playing in October of that same year. From the start the team had troubles with ownership and securing a home arena.
The Moccasins began their inaugural season with 7 straight road games, going a respectable 4-3. They finally played their first home game at the Monroe Civic Center in November. The Moccasins were led by head coach Rob Bremner. The team had a good first season, missing the playoffs by only one game, and averaging over 3,000 in attendance for the season. The team also had a successful second season reaching the playoffs this time and finally losing out in the second round. However, at the end of the season, Bremner was let go and a new regime was about to take over the young franchise.
The team did not look far as they hired former Moccasins player Brian Curran as their second head coach. The Moccasins had another great season and found themselves in the playoffs again, but were out after one round. But the 1999-2000 season would be the Moccasins last run. By February 2000, the attendance was declining and the team itself was being kept alive by the WPHL. There were questions as to if the team could stay afloat but things were not looking good. They finished the 2000-2001 season and the franchise was up in the air. With the league financing the team, they were forced to try and reach 2,500 season ticket purchases and failed. The questions were answered and the franchise folded in June 2001.
For 4 seasons, the people of North Louisiana supported the Moccasins franchise. But in the end, the support was just not enough. The team finished with an overall record of 145-110-23 and made the playoffs two straight seasons. But the support was their undoing. Their average attendance went from 3, 178 the first season to a low 1,924 in their last year. The fans were there but not enough. Not enough to keep hockey in Monroe.