With their second season underway, the Adirondack Thunder feel as though they are bolstering their status as a franchise.
The recent history of hockey in Glens Falls, NY has been eventful. Prior to the 2015-16 season, the Calgary Flames opted to switch the locations of their AHL and ECHL affiliates. As a result, the Adirondack Flames of the AHL relocated to become the Stockton Heat, while the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder moved to New York and were established as the Adirondack Thunder.
In Adirondack’s first season in the ECHL, the Thunder averaged 2,462 fans per game. There is some hope that attendance will increase this year, not only because fans are responding to a 2015-16 campiagn that saw the Thunder make the postseason, but because the team has adjusted some of its ticket offerings. More from The Post Star:
After finishing last season with 604 season ticket holders, this year the Thunder are up to 811. When you include the partial-season packages and work that out to full-season equivalents, the Thunder are over 1,100 to start the season. It’s not the 1,800 the AHL Flames finished with, but it’s a definite move in the right direction.
They’ve made a few other adjustments as well, such as putting a bigger emphasis on digital communications and putting a salesperson on group sales full time. Groups of 10 or more get a special rate for games, and the Thunder are willing to be flexible on that number.
Groups have been an anomaly in Glens Falls going back to at least the Phantoms days. Minor league sports tend to live by group sales, but they’ve never done well here. Petrovek used to be part of the group asking Jim and Rob Brooks, who own the Phantoms, if their groups number was a typo. Now people ask Petrovek that.
Having one or two people dedicated only to group sales has helped give the sales the attention they need.
The Thunder’s home opener is scheduled for Saturday, when the team faces the Manchester Monarchs. The renewed business model, combined with a 2-0 start, might lead to an eventful opening night at the Glens Falls Civic Center.