Augusta hockey staff seeks season ticket record

 

The front office staff of Augusta's new minor league hockey team still have eight months before the puck drops on its inaugural season in the Southern Professional Hockey League. But team owner Robert Kerzner doesn't want to wait that long to fill James Brown Arena.

General manager Gilles Richard said Kerzner wants record-breaking attendance numbers and is taking action now to make it happen.

"He wants to break records," Richard said. "I've never seen anything this aggressive when it comes to season ticket holders."

When season tickets first went on sale at an introductory news conference Feb. 9, the prices for the 28 regular-season home games ranged from $280 to $448. Richard said the team has released a special discount which will allow students, senior citizens and members of the military to become season ticket holders of any seat in the arena for $224.

"That's eight dollars per game for any seat, including right on the glass," Richard said. "We want to make this affordable for everyone."

Richard said Kerzner has also guaranteed season tickets prices will not increase for the 2011-12 season.

The incentives come as part of a push by Kerzner to lead the SPHL in number of season ticket holders when the team begins play in the fall. Richard said the Pensacola Ice Flyers currently lead the league, with about 1,200 season tickets sold this season.

"I want to get 1,500 to 2,000," Richard said.

The team's front office staff began moving into its new offices in the bottom of Bell Auditorium last week.

Richard said the search for a head coach remains an ongoing process, but he hopes to make an announcement soon.

Naming the new team

General manager Gilles Richard said he has received more than 800 entries for the "name the team" contest since it was announced Feb. 9.

The top 20 names will be revealed later this week, and fans will have a chance to vote for their favorite online at augustachronicle.com before the 10 semifinalists, then five finalists are revealed.

The winning name will be announced by the team March 13, and the fan who submitted it will receive two free season tickets.

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