There’s lots to do at the PPL Center, some of which I’ve touched on in previous posts. They’ve got to work on the traffic bottle-neck at 7th and Linden. They’ve got to get the concessions running smoothly, and get the menus to match the offerings. Beverages need to be easier to locate and procure. If there’s anything to do about lines for both concessions and rest rooms, they need to look at that too. Hopefully, Chickie’s and Pete’s will be open soon. There are other things too: The Hotel is supposed to open in, November? There are adjacent areas to the arena which are still under construction and features which haven’t been fully realized. Some furniture still needs to be installed. And, the ads need to be painted on the boards (we know they’re coming…).
But, this is more about the Phantoms in particular. Remember that the Phantoms are merely a tenant (the major one, but..) of the PPL Center Arena. The things above are arena-related. The Phantoms have some work to do, as well. They’ve got to host two games in the next 5 days, then they’ll have almost two weeks to get ready for the official home opener on Friday, October 17. I took the liberty of making out a list of thing’s they’ll be doing, in no particular order:
- Mail or Deliver Season Tickets: As a season ticket holder, I received my tickets for the two exhibition games in the mail last week. However, tickets for the remaining 38 regular season games–or ticket cards or whatever–should be forthcoming.
- Launch the Official Web Site: Phantomsarena.com has served its purpose. Look for the official AHL site soon. Here are a couple, so you can see what it might look like. Hershey Bears Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Put Single Game Tickets On Sale: Once the web site is up, that will facilitate the sale of single-game tickets. Despite the fact that I’m a season ticket holder, there might be times when I’d like to bring friends or a small group–waiting on single-game availability to make those purchases.
- Get Working on That Team Shop: I’ve heard it will be January, but they’ll have a larger, or centralized facility within the arena to take the place of the three kiosks and the shop on 8th/Hamilton.
- Announce a Promotions Schedule: Oh, I know they’ve sold a ton of season ticket plans and packages. But, they’ll need to make sure they get the fannies in the seats–and sell out the arena to boot. HERE is what Hershey’s looks like. They were at or among the top-drawing teams in the AHL least season.
- Sell Those Groups: I’m sure they are, already. I’ve spoken with that department and the folks I worked with were knowledgeable and professional. However, until single-game stuff is out, and the promotion schedule–some folks might not be ready to make a group-commitment. Groups are a key element in attendance and sales for minor league sports.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: The new web site will go a long way. However, I still think the Phantoms themselves need to over-sell the parking and the links to allentowneventparking.com along with, perhaps, their own map and recommendations for hockey fans. They also need to help educate on gate openings, PPL Center policies (ie “no re-entry” and “no nice cameras”), and season ticket issues (I still haven’t received an email from them since April 4.)
It’s the first season, and there’s a lot to do. Despite the two preseason games, they’ve still 17 days from this writing to get stuff done. As a fan, I’m champing at the bit for cool, new stuff! I’m sure they’ll get it all done in the fullness of time. Until then, I’ll keep hitting “refresh” and hoping to continue to learn more about the team and organization–as well as the arena.
See you there,