Inside The Privateers
New Jerseys? New Jerseys!
There were rumblings about them. Questions were floating throughout the fan base. The logic behind the buzz was simple: New city + new arena = new jerseys, right? Well, the answer to the jersey question has been answered with a resounding, Yes!
Privateers owner Nicole Kirnan has unveiled the final design for the team's home and away jerseys for the upcoming season. Fans will notice some big changes, like changes to the logo and a redesign in the numbers. There are also subtle differences, including sleek new features to sleeves and to the logo itself, too.
So, the next question becomes, when will these jerseys be available? The answer is much easier this time, as the new threads will be for sale right here on the site and at the arena on game days! Until then, NY Shirt Company is putting the final tweaks together to make sure the Privateers are stylin' in their new jerseys in its new home!
Pond Hockey? Pond Hockey!
Even non-hockey fans love it. People with zero appreciation for the beauty and grace, and raw power that is hockey will stop, mouth agape, just to catch a glimpse. What could have that kind of strangle hold on both hockey lover and hockey non-believer? The National Hockey League's Winter Classic of course!
There's just something about hockey, any hockey really, played outdoors in the elements, the way it was meant to be. Remember the first Classic? Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the NFL's Buffalo Bills, never looked so good as it did when the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres skated in there. A driving snow storm, outdoors in all the elements of winter, fans going crazy.
And since that first classic, back in 2008 at the old football stadium in western New York, the Classic has grown in popularity. In fact, this season, when the Detroit Red Wings face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs, a record crowd is expected at Michigan Stadium on the campus of the University of Michigan. Well over 100,000 screaming, freezing, hockey nuts and probably non-hockey-nuts, too.
So what's all of that have to do with the 1000 Islands Privateers? Well, everything really, as the Privateers, and every other team in the FHL for that matter, will be playing a lot of "Winter Classics" this season. The Williamsport Outlaws, formely of New Jersey, will be calling a pond home ice!
That's right, the defending FHL champs will skate on Airmen Pond at Historic Bowman Field, right near where the Williamsport Crosscutters baseball team sets up shop throughout the summer. Awesome, right? From October till when ever the Outlaws season comes to a close, be it in early March or in mid-April, the team will roughing it outdoors for every home game.
Both team and Williamsport officials are excited about this rare opportunity for the players and the fans. Williamsport mayor Gabe Campana told WNEP 16, "This will be the only professional hockey team in the nation to play its entire home games outside."
Airmen Pond will also be used for community activities, including youth hockey, giving hockey players of all ages much desired ice to learn the game on. That is, of course, when their isn't a professional hockey game on it!
So when will the Privateers play its first outdoor game? Well, that'll come Thursday, November 1. Actually, the Privateers will play at Williamsport, in something of a winter classic, a total of 10 times in 2012-13, including a special New Year's Day game. Although it's about a four and a-half hour trip to Williamsport, I would bet a few Privateers fans make the journey at least once to see their team play in its own Winter Classic.
(Image couresty FHL)
Give The Privateers A Boost
Can't get enough of the Privateers? Do large Xs cover your calendar as you count down to the start of the FHL season? Are friends and family members getting worried because you haven't taken off your Privateers jersey in months? Well, if so, we've got just one question for ya: Are you fan enough?
The Privateers Booster Club is getting set for the season and team officials are looking for fans help. Actually, you don't have to be extreme, you just have to be a Privateers supporter and want to get involved with the North Country's pro hockey team.
A booster club is the easiest and quickest way for fans to get involved with the Privateers. Members get closer access to players, even sharing a meal or two together, and a chance to hang with other fans.
Club members will get plenty of other benefits as the season rolls along, too.
And even though we are a couple of months out from the season starting, team president Nicole Kirnan is looking to get the club set as soon as possible (checking off an item on a pretty big to-do list as the team sets up shop in its new digs at the Watertown Fairgrounds Arena). If you want to know more info, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Decision To Move
Moving is never easy. The process of packing, unpacking, and simply getting acclimated to a new environment can all be overwhelming. For the 1000 Islands Privateers, its decision to move was tough but necessary.
The team relocated from Alexadria Bay to Watertown this past off-season, with the move becoming official just a couple of months ago. Still, the genesis of it all began before any boxes were packed or trucks loaded. Money trouble for the Bonnie Castle Downs owners sent the team's future into limbo. Privateers' ownership had a choice of either take financial control of the arena they called home or be nomads
The team stayed for the remaineder of the 2011-12 season, but 1000 Islands Privateers owner Nicole Kirnan says she exhausted all avenues before deciding a move out of the Bay after the season was necessary.
"Our search for a new arena did not begin until we received strong indications that the Bonnie Castle may not remain open," Kirnan said. Had the team not taken over the arena in the middle of last season, area high school hockey teams and figure skating groups could have been homeless too.
With relocating the only choice, Kirnan was faced with the task of finding an arena, and a city, to call home. For the owner, there was never any doubt Watertown was the choice.
"Although we visted multiple locations in the off-season, Watertown was our top choice," Kirnan said, "because it allows us to remain in the North Country where our fans live." Watertown's proximity to Ft. Drum and the team's fanbase along the St. Lawrence River was another selling point of Watertown.
And what can fans and curious newcomers expect at a Privateers game night? Kirnan says games are "events" with something for everyone."We've hosted choral groups, dance teams, bands, and various military groups," Kirnan said.
The fun on and off the ice for fans will start in the fall, but you can buy your single game and season tickets right now by clicking here!
A New Home And A Lot Of History
Its housed some of music's biggest stars, not to mention some of the world's biggest people, professional wrestlers, and now the Watertown Fairgrounds Arena will be the official home of the 1000 Islands Privateers.
After a successful but trying two years at the Bonnie Castle Downs, the team announced last spring it was looking for a new, more stable setting. Money trouble for the Downs owners put the Privateers' future in limbo, causing team owner Nicole Kirnan to look elsewhere. Luckily for hockey fans in the North Country, that elsewhere was Watertown.
But fans know that already, what you may not know, however, is the history of the new house - and there is a lot of it! Actually, when constructed nearly 40 years ago, the arena wasn't exactly a house. Having a roof and no walls, its fate seemed unlikely to eventually be home to a professional hockey team.
Walls did eventually go up and hockey came in, specifically the scholastic hockey of Immaculate Heart Central. IHC has brought a lot of wins and even championships to hockey crazed fans in the North Country.
Yet, it's more than hockey, with great vantage points, wide dimensions, and bright lighting, the arena has recently attracted bands like Journey and even the iconic Bill Cosby. The WWE has also come to the arena, even bringing one of the company's first 'Casket Matches' featuring the legendary Undertaker to Watertown in the early 1990s.
Although it's tough follow Mr. Huxtable and casket wrestling matches, the Privateers are ready for the challenge. And sports fans are the winners, as fans will have the chance to cheer a professional team for the first time since the Watertown Indians (Single 'A' affiliate of the Cleveland Indians) left town nearly 20 years ago.
When that puck drops in the fall, the arena will all that history will make history one more time, hosting its first ever pro hockey game. lefffiliate sdf of the of the Cddasdds
(Photo courtesy Newzjunky)