It looks like top-level minor-league hockey is on its way to the Lehigh Valley for the fall of 2013. There’s a lot of time between now and then, and a lot of things can change. Heck, I’m worried the whole thing could still fall through. Perhaps I won’t believe it until the building is completely finished.
However, since the Brooks (ownership) Group has started the web site to gather advance information on those interested in season tickets–and those interested in becoming corporate partners–I thought I’d highlight some of the differences between minor league baseball and minor league hockey for the fans.
First, hockey isn’t played every night. While the IronPigs play 72 home games over five months, the Phantoms will play 40 home games over seven and a half months. You can expect 5-7 home games per month, usually centered on the weekends: Friday, Saturday, Sunday. The Sunday game could be a 3PM start rather than in the evening. The team will often have one mid-week home game per month, commonly Wednesday. The season starts with pre-season games at the very end of September or very early October, and ends in the middle of April. The hockey will overlap with IronPigs baseball by only a week and a half or so.
It’s likely that ticket prices and policies will change with the move from the Adirondacks; however, it appears that discounts may be available for season tickets. Per-game ticket prices now range from $13 to $28, but season ticket versions can get the price below $10 per game. Kids’ tickets are around $11 regardless of where they sit. Put it all together with the 40-game schedule, and your bill for season Phantoms tickets will probably be less than your IronPigs tickets. 22-game plans and 12-game plans are available.
The Phantom’s promotion schedule looks familiar to an IronPig fan: magnet schedules, bobbleheads, posters and the addition of $2 draft beer night. It seems they do a similarly good job having something to promote every night.
I’m on the list, now, so we’ll see what they come up with. I’ve heard that season ticket packages could be on sale as soon as April of this year!
There is one concern that I have (OK, two, if you count parking/traffic): The Phantoms are currently not in the same division as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Hershey. I have an email out to the AHL to see if they plan to re-structure the divisions. I let you know what I hear.