After a great 2-0-0 start to the Utica Comets seventh campaign we sat down with Comets president, Robert Esche to get his thoughts.
Utica Comets: What do you think of this year’s team?
Esche: This is a fantastic team from the net out. Offensively and defensively they are a skilled group with a great mix of young exciting talent and veteran composure on the puck. Trent Cull and his staff couldn’t be doing a more exceptional job. The coaching staff made some changes over the summer and have a new focus of winning at any cost.
UC: The season started with two watch parties at 72 Tavern and Grill for the fans. What did you take away from the atmosphere of those events?
RE: I saw a new-found excitement in the fans. I think they, like me, are eager to get back into the season and see the hype we have been talking about all summer. The team played two entertaining, high-paced games and I know we will see the same intensity on Wednesday. Going into year seven this is by far the most excited I’ve been with the players, coaching staff and management and I feel everyone will notice this change in culture with a concentrated focus on winning and enjoying the process that comes with that.
UC: The home opener is once again sold-out. What do you think that says about our community?
RE: It is exciting to announce opening night’s sellout and continue on our path of being the best hockey town. We may be the smallest AHL city but we pack the biggest punch. To be able to hit 170 consecutive sellouts is an unbelievable milestone and we hope to continue this streak as long as we can.
UC: When a game is sold out can fans still get into the game?
RE: YES! Our ticketing staff will work with any fan to get them into the game even if it is sold out by working with season ticket members who can’t make a particular night. With such a strong Season Ticket Member fan base, we roughly have 250 tickets to sell for each game, so planning ahead will allow a lot of people to enjoy the Comets and ADK Bank Center and all it has to offer for a night out with family and friends. Obviously with all the sellouts, we created a stigma that there are no available tickets but we do have tickets to sell each night and paths to take with Season Ticket Members that can’t attend a game for one reason or the other. Our goal is for everyone to be able to enjoy the atmosphere of the Adirondack Bank Center and experience our community. We have also partnered with StubHub! so that Season Ticket Members can sell tickets they won’t be able to use and help get new fans into the building.
UC: After Opening Night what can fans expect for the rest of the weekend?
RE: This Friday, our first Oktoberfest opens on the Adirondack Bank Center Plaza. This event, which continues on Saturday, will help make the weekend special. We have a lot of nuanced things planned like stein holding contests, German-style food, and an arm-wrestling contest. The Labatt Brew House has created a special beer exclusively for our Oktoberfest. Only two kegs are being made and they are just for our fans to help make the event special. On Sunday, the Adirondack Bank Center doesn’t close up, we are back for a concert I am very excited about. CCR kicks off their final revival tour along with Blue Oyster Cult and Silver Arrow.
UC: Do you have any concluding thoughts for fans?
RE: We can always help find someone a way into the building. The atmosphere is second to none and we want to continue to prove that we may be small but we are one of the best hockey communities and that’s because of the energy of our fans who have helped us reach 170 consecutive sellouts and who help lift our team up from their loudness when they pack the Adirondack Bank Center.
If you have any questions about Opening Night, Oktoberfest or CCR with Blue Oyster Cult please contact our Box Office by calling or texting 315-790-9070 or by visiting empirestatetix.com