Colorado Avalanche Have New Local Competition
“The first professional sports team [in Denver] to win a league championship was a hockey team that played here in the Coliseum,” said Kent Rice, Executive Director of Arts and Venues for the City and County of Denver, at the introduction of Denver’s new Central Hockey League team.
Yet to be named, the newest sports franchise to hit Denver could find itself stealing customers away from the Colorado Avalanche come October, when both teams will begin their seasons. The mystery of a new face in town, coupled with a low price of admission might persuade fans of the rebuilding Burgundy and Blue to get their hockey fix in the 60-year-old Denver Coliseum instead of at the Pepsi Center.
“From an individual price point, our goal is to have the average ticket price be right around sixteen dollars,” announced team President Brad Lund. “A family of four will be able to come to this venue and not have their pocketbook hit too hard.”
An overwhelming success in an executive capacity with the Oklahoma City Blazers, Lund helped his team lead the CHL in attendance for sixteen years, leading all of minor league hockey with an average of 9,123 fans per game.
Not done expressing the cheap aspect of the new operation, Lund quickly added, “All parking will be free.”
If you’re thinking that the team isn’t aiming to compete with the NHL franchise just down the street, you might be wrong.
“The CHL provides a different brand of hockey than what is available in Denver,” Lund said in a press release from Arts & Venues Denver.
Because the team is an expansion joining the CHL, there is no set roster currently in place. This won’t stop former NHL forward and Head Coach Derek Armstrong though, who is seeing a lot of interest based on his connections in the hockey community.
“Obviously me and Cully [Brent Cullaton] have been involved in hockey a long time so we’ve got quite a few calls already from a lot of players that kind of have heard. Now that we’re developed as a CHL team we can start doing a little bit more. There’s a lot of teams still playing right now so we can’t talk to too many guys,” said Armstrong. “It’s going to be a good team. Obviously we’re here to win and put a good product out there.”
“We’ve had a lot of buddies call us,” Armstrong added.
While the club hasn’t released the new team’s name yet, they did say that they have it narrowed down to three or four ideas. Adrian Dater of the Denver Post has speculated that the moniker will be the Cutthroats, a reference to the Greenback Cutthroat Trout, the state fish of Colorado. Management is running a “guess the name” contest on their website, offering consolation prizes for every entry and a very special grand prize package to the winner. They’re also reserving season tickets for just a $50 deposit.
What do you think? Could this lead you from the Avalanche? Are you excited for a new game in town?