STEELHAWKS MOVING TO A NEW NEST

Will Now Call PPL Center Home

Allentown, PA: Beginning the 2015 season, the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks will have a new nest in the PPL Center! In a press conference today, the team announced that they will be making the move from Stabler Arena in Bethlehem to the brand new PPL Center in downtown Allentown.
“The move to the PPL Center enhances our product in so many ways,” stated Steelhawks General Manager Mike Clark. “From the sightlines for the patrons, to the state-of-the-art jumbotron, to the accessibility for all fans being in a downtown area, the PPL Center is going to bring a whole new level of entertainment to the entire Lehigh Valley. We truly appreciate the last four years inside Stabler Arena but we couldn’t be more thrilled to call this our new home.”

The Steelhawks will play all of their home games inside of the state-of-the-art facility that can hold a crowd of 8,500. The arena features an amazing jumbotron, three restaurants (including the famous Chickie’s and Pete’s, Tim Horton’s, and Crust), and great views of the game from anywhere in the building. The new venue will open many doors to allow the Steelhawks’ to bring more entertainment value to all their fans. As a football field, it will be a full 50 yards longs (plus eight yard endzones), and will feature the rounded off endzones that most of the teams in the league have.

“We’re thrilled that the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks have decided to make PPL Center their new home,” said Global Spectrum’s Gunnar Fox, General Manager of PPL Center. “We truly feel that having the Steelhawks as a tenant team will enhance the diverse line-up of events that PPL Center has to offer which now includes arena football.”

The PPL Center (pplcenter.com) is a Global-Spectrum managed state-of-the-art multipurpose arena opening this September in downtown Allentown, Pa. The arena will seat more than 10,000 for concerts and more than 8,500 for Steelhawks contests, making it the region’s largest events venue. The amenities-packed PPL Center will host more than 140 events each year, offering something for everyone, including the Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the NHL Philadelphia Flyers, live concerts, family shows, trade shows, figure skating events, youth sports, high school and collegiate events, Disney on Ice, conferences, graduations and many more events. PPL Center will be the heart of the Lehigh Valley and is currently the main catalyst to the revitalization and growth of downtown Allentown.

Rob and Jim Brooks were also on hand for today’s announcements. “We are excited to welcome the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks to the PPL Center,” said Rob Brooks, owner of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League and BDH Development, the master leaseholder of PPL Center. “We look forward to a long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnership between PPL Center and the Steelhawks and are excited to have the team join us during our inaugural season.”

In other news today, in the team’s first 2015 player contract was signed by veteran DL Larry Ford (6’4, 265, West Virginia). He was named to the 2013 All-PIFL 2nd team in a season in which he claimed the team’s single sack record (7.5). He recorded eight tackles, one tackle for a loss, and two sacks in the Steelhawks 2014 campaign which saw him jump up and down from the Cleveland Gladiators franchise in the Arena Football League. Ford brings a defensive leadership and experience to the Steelhawks defensive front line.

Steelhawks Head Coach Chris Thompson shared in the days excitement. “This is a great day for the Steelhawks as we get to not only play in a brand new state of the art arena like the PPL Center, but also raise our 2014 National Conference Championship banner in it on opening night. I can’t wait for our awesome 9th man fan base, Steelhawks Junior Football League (SJFL), and Partners to share in this moment and new home for years to come. We have enjoyed so much success these last 3 years and this is another step forward in providing a great night of family entertainment in the Lehigh Valley. I can’t wait to see what the move to the PPL Center and 2015 season bring for the Steelhawks. All I know, is it is going to be rocking.”

Thank you to the entire Steelhawks Nation for supporting us throughout the years! Stay tuned to the Steelhawks facebook and website for more exciting announcements over the off-season! We are already looking forward to next season.

Keep checking for the latest news and events from the Steelhawks! For further information please call Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Clark at (610) 282-3100, or visit our website at http://www.LVSteelhawks.com for the latest Steelhawks news! 2015 Season Ticket packages will be on sale soon! Reserve your seat now by calling the Steelhawks office at 610-282-3100.

Leave a comment

Filed under Steel Hawks

@SteelhawksPIFL to Play @PPLCenter !

Our beloved Lehigh Valley Steelhawks announced this morning that they will be playing their 2015 PIFL Arena Football season in the new Allentown Arena!

More details as they come in…

GO HAWKS!

Leave a comment

Filed under Steel Hawks

2015 IronPigs Schedule Released: Good, Bad and Ugly

2015_IronPigs_Schedule_k0ljic2o

THE GOOD

  1. Opening Day at Coca Cola Park
  2. Closing Day at Coca Cola Park
  3. Plenty of Weekend games
  4. No home stand longer than 8 games
  5. A nice, busy June
  6. 12 games in 14 days at the end of July/beginning of August
  7. Plenty of April Games
  8. Shorter road trips for the players
  9. Fewer 2-game sets–Mr. Brundage should approve.
  10. A couple good candidates for vacation weeks in August, and one in July–for the fans.
  11. 222 game at Coca Cola Park April 7.
  12. With all 1:35 games on Sundays, plenty of chance to continue the post-game tailgate tradition–and plenty of chance to get over to the SteelHawks games if they’re smart and go for evening kickoff on Sundays when the ‘Pigs are home.
  13. Not listing the playoffs on the schedule is probably a good idea.  We’ll figure that out later….
  14. The late start to the season should ease conflicts with SteelHawks (somewhat) and Phantoms, and the late end to the season should flow into pre-season hockey quite nicely.

THE BAD

  1. Season doesn’t start until April 9!  We’re going to be champing at the bit, I’m telling you.
  2. With the season extending to a late Labor Day, September 7–could be a week without the best players as they could be called up September 1.
  3. New, uneven schedule has 18 games with Scranton–10 in Moosic, 8 in Allentown!
  4. Fewer games with Western and Southern opponents–some only in town for 3 days instead of 4.
  5. The busy April is good for baseball fans like myself, but tough on the attendance race.
  6. No 5:35 games on Sundays in the summer.

THE UGLY

  1. Only 8 games in August!  Unbalanced!
  2. The RailRiders get home field advantage in the race for the IronRail!

But, I’ll be there,

@Kram209

3 Comments

Filed under Coca Cola Park, Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Lehigh Valley IronPigs

Lehigh Valley Roller Derby! – 8/16/2014 – Video!

If you missed this weekend’s bout between the Long Island Roller Rebels Rock-A-Betty Bruisers and our Lehigh Valley RollerGirls Blast Furnace Betties or just want to see it again… here is the Noise Nation’s production of Just Jams!

Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Filed under LV Roller Girls

Swuuunngg On and there it gooooeessss – “Fronconstein” FTW – ‘Pigs Fly

Haven’t posted one of these in a while – hasn’t been one to post in a while…

BUT

as a follow-up to the Cheryl/Kram/Jr. walk-off prediction and the come-from-behind (walk-off error) victory by Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons in the Williamsport LLWS here is the Voice of the IronPigs Matt Provence with a classic, emphatic walk-off homerun call courtesy of “Young Fronconstein” (TM M. Provence).

If you witness enough baseball at Lehigh Valley’s Coca-Cola Park, you know by the sound of the bat when a ball is jacked and Maikel (don’t call him Michael) Franco’s shot to left field was certainly a ‘no-doubter’!

Before we get to the Voice one final tidbit.

Phillippe Aumont with the win!

YES – that’s what it says!

Aumont pitched 2 PERFECT, stellar innings with 3 K’s and ZERO free passes.

Hold on a sec though – he threw 17 pitches – 15 of ‘em for strikes!

YES – that’s what it says!

So we’ll take Phillippe’s best outings of his recently improving year and transition to one of the best Provence calls – ever!

Walk-Off Dishing

Leave a comment

Filed under Coca Cola Park, DiPro's Dish, Lehigh Valley IronPigs

“I Called It” The Story of a Walk-Off

Except I didn’t.

Franco, following the obligatory pie in the face.  Photo courtesy @AngelsforMark

Franco, following the obligatory pie in the face. Photo courtesy @AngelsforMark

But let me step back a minute.

Junior calls all kinds of stuff.  He called a walk-off last night when we were down 5-0.  He’ll call anything, knowing that eventually he’ll be right in some kind of way.  Tonight, he called “three straight strike outs–because we’re horrible.”  I figured it would be something more crazy–like a line-drive double play to get Spears off second.

But you know, walk-offs are among my favorite things to see at the park.  A no-hitter?  A perfect game?  Never saw them.  Not yet.  A cycle?  I remember Michael Taylor’s night like it was yesterday.  And walk-offs?  Love ‘em.  Hanzawa had one earlier this year.  Castro’s had a few over the past two years.  Franco had one before, on a single to right. The home run variety are the best.  I’ve seen them from Blanco and Castro over the past couple years.

I thought about calling for the HR with Galvis at the plate.  It would tie the game and energize the crowd.  It would probably knock the closer out of the game.  But I just didn’t feel it…

However, with one run in (Galvis singled to right, scoring Spears) and Franco strolling to the plate, I felt it.  I turned to Junior and said, “I’m calling it.  Walk-off home run.”

He replied, “Baahh.”

But Franco was having a good at-bat by now.  He stayed away from some garbage pitches and crushed a foul pull-side.  The four adults in front of me were still enjoying their 32-oz beers and chatting about who-knows-what.  One of the women in the group answered her cell phone–which she had stored in her cleavage.

I’m not kidding.

I wondered if they knew what was coming.  A nice crowd was still on hand for an early-evening Sunday game.  The Kiddos got duffel bags.  A buddy had the IronPigs Suite.  (BTW, they should do more 5:35 games in the summer.  And, the IronPigs Suite has been re-done:  nice hardwood floors and brick wall facing.  Classy.  But I digress.)

The long drive off Maikel Franco’s bat wasn’t a surprise to me.  I knew it was coming.  Heck, I called it.  But, I did worry that it might hang up too long and get caught at the warning track in Left Field–where all manner of bad things have happened this season (injuries, phantom balls, etc.).

But it didn’t.  It went into the bull-pens, and the place erupted.  As it should.  Congratulations and high-fives all around.  Junior screaming, “YOU CALLED IT!”  I looked up, and Franco was only at second!  Powder-blue jerseys flooded the field.  How many players do we have?  25?  Seemed like 50 of them on the field waiting for Franco.  And I called it.

Except.

I didn’t.

Not first.

A whole inning earlier I received the following text from Cheryl Pursell:

“I left..  There will be a walk off now.  Let’s hope.”

Yup.

Cheryl called it.

 

See you at the park,

@Kram209

5 Comments

Filed under CherylPursellsPhotos, Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Lehigh Valley IronPigs

Winding Down: Podcast, Roster and IronRail

We're "This Close" to contending... Photo: Cheryl Pursell

We’re “This Close” to contending…
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

While things are winding down over at Coca Cola Park, I’m still paying attention.  Here are some things you should know about as the 2014 season comes to a close:

  1. ICYMI, I had the opportunity to be a guest on the APhilliated Podcast, hosted by IronPigs Radio Producer Mark Perlman-Price.  It came out good, I think, and he certainly has access to better recording equipment.  You can listen to it here if you like.
  2. Tony Gwynn, Jr. is with the IronPigs now.  He’s starting in CF again tonight.  He’s a lot of fun to watch, and leading off this evening.  He’s hitting .474 for the ‘Pigs so far–over only a short time, I know–but worth catching.
  3. If you’re a season ticket holder, don’t forget to renew your seats or at least collect on your renewal award:  Some “loaded value” is available for the last home stand starting next weekend, but you have to ask for it.  Contact your ticket rep!
  4. I know it’s way too early to start thinking about next season, but that never stopped me before.  Of course, some free agent signings will impact the opening day roster.  But here I go anyway.  Here are some names to remember for 2015–even if they don’t start the season in Allentown:  Pitchers:  Adam Morgan, Jon Pettibone, Aaron Nola, Jesse Biddle, Severino Gonzalez, Hoby Milner, Nefi Ogando, Adam Loewen.  Catchers Tommy Joseph and Sebastian Valle.  INF Carlos Alonso, Brock Stassi, KC Serna, JP Crawford.  OF: Cameron Perkins, Aaron Altherr, Kelly Dugan.  Player/Coach Jake Fox.
  5. IronRail:  There are four games remaining with Scranton–two here and two up north.  The ‘Pigs lead the season series 8-4.  The evil RailRiders must win all four games to retain the coveted IronRail trophy via the totally arbitrary tiebreaker.  It’s our only chance to take home some hardware for this season, so…

See you at the park,

@Kram209

1 Comment

Filed under CherylPursellsPhotos, Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Lehigh Valley IronPigs