Welcome To Bridgeport And The AHL

 

On Tuesday afternoon the NHL announced that an estimated one million dollars had been lost with the cancelation of pre-season games. The soon to be announced cancelation of regular season games (and hockey related revenues) will only increase the loss and suffering experienced by the owners, how sad for them.

On a brighter note, teams in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), and the elite leagues across Europe can expect a significant increase in revenues. The prime grade beef that had been allowed to graze on pastures in North America (read what happened) has been forced to greener pastures abroad.

Left to carry the banner as the premier hockey league in North America is the American Hockey League (AHL) and the Islanders proud affiliate the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Every team in the AHL can expect an increase in attendance as NHL players, and those ready to make their NHL debuts, have been assigned to AHL affiliates. The game will improve and the competition will be intense as nearly 52% of AHL players on the ice this year have had NHL experience.

Hockey in Bridgeport will be more exciting than ever as the team tries to defend their status as division champions.

If you are planning a trip to the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport for your first taste of AHL action you are in for a treat. The quality of play and level of competition will leave you impressed, the more intimate fan experience and ambiance of this state of the art facility will certainly leave you planning to return.

Tickets for any individual game can be obtained by visiting Ticketmaster, but a quick visit to the Sound Tigers website will show you a some very flexible and affordable packages and plans that are available. As an example of affordability, here are some of the benefits I enjoy as a full season ticket holder:

  • Tickets to all 38 home games
  • Free parking ($10.00 per game savings)
  • 4 tickets to use during the season to ‘bring a friend’
  • Ticket to an Islander game (assuming there are any)
  • 15% discount on team store merchandise
  • Suite for a night (w/3 year lock-in) with tickets for 12 friends
  • Meet, greet and skate with the players
  • Kick off party with the players (free food!!)
  • Boat-cruise with the players (free food and beer!!!)
  • Guaranteed promotional give-a-ways (bobble head dolls, etc.)
  • Personal Customer Service Representative (CSR)

The less than $600 spent for my season ticket is more than offset by the benefits received, the most valuable of which is having my own personal Customer Service Representative, Maddie Gillin.

Want your son or daughter to ride the Zamboni between periods? Ask Maddie. Like a tour of the arena for your group? Ask Maddie. Need an extra ticket for an unexpected guest? Ask Maddie. Your CSR could not possibly satisfy your every need, ‘promise little and deliver more’ is their mantra, but having your own personal representative is a priceless benefit. (Give her a call at 203-345-4814)

While in town visit one of the many fine restaurants in the area that sponsor the Sound Tigers. Two worthy of a visit are Ralph n Rich’s (get the beef tips appetizer) located a block away from the arena, or my personal favorite The Riverview Bistro just off of exit 33 in nearby Stratford.

The Riverview Bistro opened early this past year and is owned by long time Sound Tiger fans Dave Petrone and his wife Meredith. Formerly known as the Harborside Restaurant, a favorite hangout of the 2009-10 team, the Riverview Bistro has been totally and tastefully remodeled by Meredith and provides a menu best described as American Cuisine with a rich offering of fresh seafood dishes and daily specials. (photo right shows a view from the ample deck which seats 100 comfortably)

Surprisingly affordable for a water front venue I have often left the restaurant 15 minutes before game time and was in my seat at the arena in time for the national anthem.

Enjoy your time in the Bridgeport area, the players always do, and welcome to the Webster Bank Arena and Sound Tigers hockey.

 

-Mike Flannery

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