By Jeff Mead
Looking forward to 2021, with the COVID-19 pandemic still having a major effect on the world and our industry is not an easy task.
We lost almost 10 months of operations in 2020 due to the pandemic. We had what we considered our strongest arena line-up booked since we took over the operations of the arena in 2015. The closure of the arena by state mandate and the sudden end of the ECHL season is still being felt. The 2021 State Boys Basketball Championships have been cancelled for a second straight year. Most of our staff has been furloughed.
Unfortunately, we are like so many other businesses in our region and across the country,
We made the decision in November to opt out of the 2020-21 ECHL season due to the pandemic. The business model of the ECHL simply doesn’t afford teams to play without ticket sales revenues.
Downtown and local businesses have been negatively affected by not having our 225,000 guests come to the arena in the past 10 months. We know the economic impact we have on restaurants, bars, hotels, and retail when the arena is full.
We must keep looking forward. Realistically, we are looking to June or July as to when we will be able to resume normal operations.
Thunder hockey will be back for the 2021-22 season.
We have started to plan for it. Season tickets are currently on sale. We made the decision to keep ticket prices flat for the season. We have only raised ticket prices once in four years, by 50 cents per game. We pride ourselves on offering a family friendly experience at the arena.
The arena has had the ice in place since November for use by the Adirondack Youth Hockey organization. We are using the ice seven days a week, which keeps the arena busy during these down times.
We will keep the ice in through February.
The Farmers Market has moved to the arena for the winter. Every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon, you can visit and select from numerous local farmers and their produce.
We look forward to a return to normalcy. We look forward to the 30th year of the Adirondack Stampede Rodeo and the return of the 2021 Girls Volleyball state finals in November. We have numerous other arena events booked in anticipation of being able to re-open in the near future.
We need to thank our community partners for their continued support of the arena and hockey team.
We need to thank our partners at Warren County and the City of Glens Falls for their continued investment into our arena. I need to thank my board of directors for their unwavering support during these times.
We look forward to seeing our guests, staff, partners, and community at the arena in the near future. Opening night for the Thunder is only 10 months away. Looking forward to seeing 5,000 fans welcome the team back.
By Jeff Mead