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 Springfield Thunderbirds

T-Birds Put Bow on Record-Breaking 2023-24 Season

April 25, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Springfield Thunderbirds News Release


Springfield Thunderbirds on the ice in front of a big home crowd
Springfield Thunderbirds on the ice in front of a big home crowd
(Springfield Thunderbirds)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Springfield Thunderbirds completed a historic season in style on Saturday, hosting a 14th consecutive sellout crowd inside the MassMutual Center. The capacity crowd for the finale also marked the 20th time during the 2023-24 season that "the Thunderdome" hit its maximum occupancy.

Both the 14-game sellout streak and the 20 total sellout crowds set Springfield AHL hockey records, and those were merely two statistics from a year full of shattered records and overwhelming support from the fanbase. The Thunderbirds' ticket sales department saw distinct growth in numerous categories, including group ticket revenue (up 30% from 2022-23), season ticket revenue (up 15%), and total full-season tickets sold (up 5%).

"The support this franchise has received from day one has been indescribable," said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. "It takes so many factors for an American Hockey League franchise to succeed, and our front office staff is right up there with the best in the business. Their tireless efforts, coupled with the passion and energy of the Thunderdome crowd, made this historic season a reality. We have no intention of slowing down either, which should make our fans so excited for what will come."

Of the 6,321 fans who attended Thunderbirds games on average last season, about 25% were members of various groups participating in a wide variety of in-game experiences, from Premium Suite and Executive Perch parties to on-ice activities like national anthem performances and high-five tunnel teams. Springfield's front office staff efforts helped the club generate the eighth most group tickets sold in the league.

"We have long worked at making Thunderbirds games a lifelong memory for fans of all ages," said Costa. "In the process of doing that, we have been able to showcase members of our community, which has led to amazing opportunities for these groups to have a huge audience and grow their followings. Performing at Thunderbirds games has become a checklist item for thousands in this area, and we take great pride in that."

This season, the T-Birds saw an average of 93.1% of all seats filled inside the MassMutual Center, the highest average attendance to capacity in the AHL's Eastern Conference and second-highest in the league. Such successes in filling the arena directly led to the Thunderbirds' corporate sales department reaching new heights.

In the 2023-24 season, the T-Birds saw a 15% growth in corporate revenue while sitting atop the league rankings in total sponsorship deals. Integrations with sponsors have continued to be showcased across various mediums, from in-arena and in-ice signage to social media post sponsorships and elements of the in-game broadcast production.

"Having widespread support from our business partners is also paramount to success in the American Hockey League," Costa added. "Our corporate team has fostered meaningful relationships beyond return on investment and emphasized Springfield's pride for the city. Their accomplishments are remarkable when compared to markets of exponentially greater size."

Supplementing the Thunderbirds' success in tickets and corporate business, the franchise experienced a seventh consecutive season of brand development and merchandise growth as the club rose to the top 10 in the AHL in-game night merchandise sales, with an emphasis on creating high-quality product lines across not just the T-Birds brand, but specialty nights as well.

"We are aware of how impactful merchandise can be from a grassroots marketing perspective," said Costa. "Giving our fans the ability to show their pride for specialty evenings like Pink in the Rink, Ice-O-Topes, and Military Appreciation further bolsters our connection between our team and the community."

The Thunderbirds will look to build upon their record-breaking success when the 2024-25 season, the eighth Thunderbirds hockey campaign, gets underway this October. Schedules and single-game tickets will go on sale later this summer. Fans can reserve their seats for Thunderbirds' hockey action in the 2024-25 season with a ticket membership by calling (413)-739-GOAL (4625) or visiting www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.





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Springfield Thunderbirds on the ice in front of a big home crowd
Springfield Thunderbirds on the ice in front of a big home crowd

  

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