TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson Roadrunners hockey team is preparing for its second season at the Tucson Convention Center Arena, hoping to build on a banner first year.
The team management said before the season started if it could get 4,000 fans a game, it would achieve its goal.
It averaged 4,054.
This year looks even better for attendance because a majority of games are on the weekends. Those games attract more than 5,200 per game which means attendance figures should rise.
Also, sales for season ticket holders has already exceeded expectations.
Roadrunners President Bob Hoffman said the team set a goal of 250 new season ticket holders over the summer but has already exceeded 300 nearly three weeks before the season even begins.
Those numbers look good for the future of the team in Tucson, which has agreed to a ten year deal. If the team draws fewer that 2,500 all bets are off but that does not appear likely.
The parent organization, which bought the American Hockey League team in Springfield, MA and moved them to Tucson has said it is here for the long haul.
That also makes Rio Nuevo happy, after they invested $3.2 million in upgrades to the TCC, just for the Roadrunners.
Asked how the team did in its first year, board chair Fletcher McCusker said "it exceeded expectations."
Research by Rio Nuevo shows that every person who comes downtown for a game spends an average $30 more than just the ticket price.
Rio Nuevo is a TIF district, which pockets the sales taxes so an increase in attendance is good for business.
The Roadrunners have also introduced a new website, a series of kids and youth hockey events and more promotions and giveaways to excite the fans.
The first game for the Roadrunners is Saturday, Oct. 7. The puck d rops at 7 p.m.