Bama hockey sets opening weekend record in PelhamPublished 10:48am Thursday, October 3, 2013
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
The University of Alabama Frozen Tide Hockey team drew a “significantly higher” crowd for its opening weekend in late September than it has in the past years, according to the director of the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena.
“We saw a significant improvement over the last years, even for the first game,” Civic Complex Director Danny Tate told city leaders during an Oct. 1 City Council work session. “We saw about 300 on Friday night.”
The Frozen Tide, which plays its home games at the Civic Complex, recorded a pair of big wins to open the season, downing the U.S. Army’s Ft. Benning team 13-1 on Sept. 26 and beating Tulane 14-1 on Sept. 27.
The two games marked the first Frozen Tide games since the team signed an agreement with the city of Pelham to secure more home games this year and significant improvements to the team’s locker room.
This year also marks the first time alcohol is being sold at the complex during Frozen Tide games.
“We had our first alcohol sales, and that went off without a hitch,” Tate said.
Tate noted the Civic Complex likely will see a bump in its revenues early next year, as the facility will host the Auburn-Alabama hockey match for the first time since 2011. Tate said he is looking to see about $60,000 in revenues during the three-game stretch Jan. 17-19.
After traveling to Huntsville to face the University of Michigan-Flint, Davenport College and Grand Valley State in the Civil War Showcase, the Tide will host five straight home games at the Civic Complex.
The team is scheduled to host South Florida on Oct. 11, Christopher Newport on Oct. 12, South Carolina Oct. 17-18 and Georgia Tech on Oct. 24.
Frozen Tide head coach Mike Quenneville said the Frozen Tide’s schedule this season is loaded with nationally ranked opponents.
“As we said a few weeks ago, we have put together the most competitive schedule in the eight-year history of our program,” Quenneville said. “The challenges in front of us this year – both in our league and region as well as some traditional power house programs – will be quite a test. This is the way you want to build your team and program.”