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Red and Black Hockey

Checkers stealing some of the NBA’s spotlight

This season, the Charlotte Checkers will play their first season in the American Hockey Leauge, and they’ll be one of

only two

a few teams in the AHL (the other being the San Antonio Rampage—edit.  also, the Houston Aeros, Milwaukee Admirals and Lake Erie Monsters—) to share its arena with an NBA pro basketball team.  The ECHL Checkers also played in the Time Warner Cable (Bobcats) Arena in downtown Charlotte, and theyf got the short shrift when it came to scheduling.  They used to get their schedule after the Bobcats and the NBA had already laid claim to 41 dates.  This year, however, they’ll be getting better priority. 

I’ve been told by a Charlotte Checkers representative that the AHL schedule will be released “sometime in August” and that it will be released before the NBA releases its schedule.  This means that the Checkers won’t have “second choice” and they’ll be able to have more of the attractive weekend games and less of the crummy Tuesday night home games.  I’ve been told that the home opener will be on Friday October 15.  No other details are available just yet, but this is a big deal for the Checkers to have first chair fiddle.

It sounds almost too good to be true, but I was told that any season ticket package paid in full by the end of this week will get four bonus tickets to opening night.  I was already contemplating getting a ten game package and making the trek between Greensboro-Raleigh-Greensboro-Charlotte quite a lot.  When I found out that the packages are a lot more flexible than the comparable Hurricanes season ticket package, I was even more interested.  Pick your seat, pick the games.  Any ten games.  This promotion with the opening night tickets, which was revealed to me this morning, makes it even more attractive to pony up for a mini-plan.  I’m hoping that there will be a lot of weekend back-to-back home games, as there typically are in the AHL. 

There will be bigger fish to fry, as the NHL will announce its 2010-11 schedule on Tuesday.  By this time tomorrow, every team in the league will be complaining that it has been railroaded by the league and its schedule makers.  Everyone will say that they have unjustly been saddled with more back-to-back situations and more Satanic road trips than any other team in the league.  Check the blogosphere on Tuesday night for evidence of this. 

Filed in: | Red and Black Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ahl, charlotte+checkers


WolfKeeper's avatar

There are a few more AHL teams that share stadiums with the NBA:

Milwaukee Admirals and Bucks at the Bradley Center
Lake Erie Monsters and Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena

And I’ve never seen the AHL release their schedule before the NBA. And every season the AHL tells us it’s because they’re waiting on open dates for the shared arenas. I would be a six-pack that’s not changing this year either.

Posted by WolfKeeper on 06/22/10 at 12:54 AM ET

WolfKeeper's avatar

That’s bet a six pack. Stupid netbook.

Almost forgot the Houston Aeros, they share the Toyota Center with the Houston Rockets.

Posted by WolfKeeper on 06/22/10 at 12:57 AM ET

David Lee's avatar

Yeah.  That’s an oversight on my part about the arenas.  Sorry.

It sounded strange to me, but I’m just repeating what the Checkers rep told me about the scheduling.

Posted by David Lee from Greensboro, NC on 06/22/10 at 01:28 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Charlotte Checkers…. sounds like a stripper name.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 06/22/10 at 03:14 PM ET

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About Red and Black Hockey

David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science.  He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows.  Sometimes, all in the same day. 

David has contributed to CBC.ca for their Stanley Cup playoff coverage in 2006 and to the New York Times Slapshot blog for theirs in 2008. Red and Black Hockey was founded in July of 2005.