10 Things to Know for the Home Opener

Comets Tales: Even More Energy Added to Games

by Don Laible

Sep 29, 2016

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Utica Comets fans will be walking into a familiar setting to experience something quite unfamiliar.

Although the 60 minutes of gameplay will be the hard-working Comets brand of hockey fans have come to know and expect; the extras surrounding the game, such as the pre and post-game show, the music, and the videoboard content, all will have a different look and feel.

Kristin Cullina, one of the Comets’ newest hires, joined the team as director of game operations after spending five seasons with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

“What fans will experience this season will be different from anything Comets fans have seen in years past, and will be different every night,” promised Cullina. "I want to keep things fresh for season ticket members, and others who are at every Comets game.”

Cullina, along with her game night team, have been empowered to build on an already electric atmosphere that has garnered national attention.

Ideas for this season's experiences aren't in short supply for Cullina and the Comets. The Washington, D.C. native spent the previous five seasons honing her craft as a member of the NHL’s best fan experience crew, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“This summer, Turnkey Sports & Entertainment voted Amalie Arena’s fan experience best in the NHL, while the year prior, we were ranked 3rd overall by ESPN’s Ultimate Standings in 4 major sports,” said Cullina, who also has experience working in-game entertainment for the Florida Panthers and Arena Football's Tampa Storm.

Cullina’s duties on a day-to-day basis including writing scripts and directing what fans will see on the video boards, hear over the public address system, and watch during live action throughout the arena. Think film director on location. Now add cool graphics, sound effects, and tailor-made videos, all of which are available to be played at the click of a button.

The plan is for Cullina, and those working in tandem with her on game nights, to have their presence felt as soon as The AUD doors are opened for October's home opener on Oct. 26.

"As Tom Coyne welcomes fans, I want to throw to our new in-game host, have the lights go out, and hype our new opening video,” explained Cullina. “We'll have facts out on the guys, as well. This is just what you'll experience in pre-game.”

This year the show begins when doors open. With a slew of new videos, interactive games, and a more dedicated focus on the in-game experience, fans can look forward to each night being a unique one both on and off the ice.

Written by Don Laible
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