New Chiefs Owner Raises Hope For Hockey

The Tribune-Democrat

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – You’ve gotta appreciate his enthusiasm and his love for minor league hockey.

We’re talking about Jim Weber, new Johnstown Chiefs primary owner, or, as his business card says, “the chief Chief.”

In a preseason interview with our editorial board, we found Weber to be a very likable, down-to-earth guy who seems to be on a sincere mission to keep the Chiefs in Johnstown for many years to come.

He describes himself as a Sunday school teacher who owns a brewery.

He owns Weber Advertising and Marketing Inc. and Lancaster Brewing Co.

When he’s not working, Weber says he enjoys time with his family and watching college football and hockey, particularly minor league hockey.

And he promises that his residence in Lancaster County will not prevent him from leading the cheers at Chiefs games; he hopes to attend nearly every one.

In fact, Weber and veteran minority owner Ned Nakles were very visible for the home opener.

About 90 minutes before faceoff, Weber walked through the front doors of the arena lobby and yelled enthusiastically to fans waiting for the gates to open.

After the game, he was on Market Street, talking to people and asking for fan feedback.

Weber has made several changes here, hoping to make the game and atmosphere more appealing for fans.

And more changes are coming.

“My vision is having the building filled with kids running around with headdresses on,” he said.

“I want it to be date night on Saturdays in Johnstown. I want to see younger people and kids … I want to encourage church groups, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, all groups to come for an outing.

“I would like the fans who haven’t been to a game in quite some time to give us another try.”

In return?

“I will do the very best I can to have our team play well for the fans.”

Fans, fun and good hockey.

It sounds like a great time.