Weekend playoff dates have been tough to come by this season for the Eagles. That's why they're holding off on setting Games 6 and 7 of the semifinal Turner Cup series that starts Wednesday and Friday in the Salt Palace against the Milwaukee Admirals.
It's likely the best-of-seven playoff with the No. 2 Eagles against the league's No. 3 finisher will go six or seven games, and that would bring the teams back to the Salt Palace for the final two, since it's a 2-3-2 setup.On the iffy chance that they can play Game 6 on Saturday night, May 6, the Eagles may wait until May 5 to announce when Game 6 will be played.
For them to have a shot at that Saturday game, and the extra tickets it might sell, the Eagles and Admirals have to cooperate, and so do the Utah Jazz.
If the Jazz finish their playoff series with Golden State in four games or less, the Eagles could have the Saturday-night date in the Palace outright. And if the Jazz go to Game 5 in their best-of-five series, and if that game is chosen to be nationally televised, which is possible, the Jazz would play in the Palace at 1:30 p.m. and the Eagles could play in the Palace at 8 p.m.
Such a changeover between basketball court and hockey rink has been accomplished twice before, and Salt Palace personnel have told Eagle owner Art Teece it could be done again.
The Eagles have May 6-9 to play the final two games of the semifinal series, should they be necessary.
Teece is desperate for prime weekend games because of snafus that cost him one already and may cost him another next week if Game 6 ends up being played on Sunday instead of Saturday.
The trouble started because the rock group Poison postponed its scheduled April 15 Salt Palace concert due to medical problems. It was known well in advance that the concert would be postponed, and Teece asked for the April 15 date, but the promoter wouldn't release it. Teece says United Concerts hung onto the date because releasing it before getting a backup date might mean some fans would want their money back.
The result had the Eagles playing at home Tuesday and Thursday, April 11 and 13, and at Denver April 14 and 15. If they'd had the April 15 date, they'd have played at home April 13 and 15 and played in Denver last week - meaning they wouldn't have had the current 11-day gap between games.
The Salt Palace arena wound up unused on April 15.
Compounding the problem, the Eagles had informed the Salt Palace that Friday, May 5, was a date they'd like to use for playoffs. Teece says his Palace contract says the Eagles (and Jazz) are to get scheduling preference in April and May for playoffs. But the fact that the Eagles asked for May 5 was never recorded in the Palace schedule book, and it was given instead to United Concerts for the rescheduled Poison concert.