The NHL lockout is underway, but hockey fans can still get their fix
Hockey fans... We know these are dark times as the NHL lockout officially began on September 15th. No one can say for sure when NHL hockey will be back on the ice, but fans of the game in this area still have the chance to see it played a high level. The Frisco-based Texas Tornado play in the North American Hockey League, a developmental league where some of the top hockey prospects in the country compete for a chance to be noticed by college and professional scouts. The Tornado have had marked success in that regard since the team was founded in 1999, as over 130 former players have gone on to play in either the NCAA or the professional ranks. The fast-paced, hard-hitting style of play is perfect for casual and die-hard fans alike. Interested? Keep reading for a five-point introduction to the Texas Tornado, the most recent champs in town!
1. The champs are here!!
Everyone loves a winner, and that's exactly what you're getting with the Tornado. This upcoming season will be the 13th in franchise history, and the Tornado have won the Robertson Cup (the NAHL's equivalent to the Stanley Cup) five times. After winning it all in 2001, Texas reeled off three titles in a row, from 2004-2006, before winning Robertson Cup #5 in May. The 2012-2013 season has already begun, with the Tornado winning all four games they played at the Combat Hockey/NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn. last week. However, the home opener will be played on September 29th against the Wichita Falls Wildcats, where the Tornado will unveil their Robertson Cup Championship banner before looking to move to 5-0-0 on the young season.
2. Just as tough to beat the prices
Families are looking for fun and affordable entertainment these days, something the Tornado can absolutely provide. Single-game tickets range anywhere from $10-$16, but pricing is done by section, rather than by row. What this means is that a family-of-four can get seats behind the net, right on the glass for as little as $40. Fans who are interested in coming to more games have their options open, as well. Flex packages start as low as $80 and get you 10 vouchers to any Tornado home game. They can be used in any combination for any game (10 tickets to 1 game, 1 ticket to 10 games, or anything in between). Of course, season ticket plans are also still available.
3. Check out the facility
Some people might shy away from a non-traditional hockey team not knowing the kind of rink at which the team plays. The Tornado play their games at the state-of-the-art Dr Pepper Arena, which seats up to 4,000 people for hockey games and provides great sightlines of the rink regardless of seat location. The team also has private party areas and luxury suites available to purchase on a game-to-game basis. Incidentally, Dr Pepper Arena is also home to the Dallas Stars practice facility.
4. Learn the game
"I feel like I'd enjoy hockey, but everything just moves too fast and I can't follow the action on TV." We hear this from a lot of people and we understand the sentiment. If you're just a casual fan of the game, it isn't easy to anticipate a play if you can only see half of the ice on your TV screen. But you'd be amazed how great the game is to watch in person, especially when you can do it inexpensively at Dr Pepper Arena. And when you can see the whole ice, the game tends to slow down and makes it even easier to figure out. Watching a play develop before your eyes from start-to-finish can do wonders to your understanding of the game, so you'll never be caught saying "what just happened there," when you're watching hockey again.
5. Community Involvement
Tornado players are unbelievably active throughout the North Texas community, attending everything from school assemblies to Opening Day for the Miracle League of Frisco. In fact, five of our players even attend high school in Frisco as students at Wakeland. These players have moved here from all over the country; places like Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin. You may have a son or daughter at Wakeland who had no idea they were classmates with someone who moved here to play hockey. Come out and support them!
Hopefully, we've given you enough reasons to continue to support hockey in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Order your Tornado tickets today by calling 972-335-9800!
The Texas Tornado, proud members of the 24-team North American Hockey League, play at the state-of-the-art Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco. They are five-time Robertson Cup winners, champions of the NAHL in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, and most recently, 2012. Since their inception in 1999, the Texas Tornado have set the standard for excellence for hockey for players ages 21 and under in the United States. Besides their three straight National Championships from 2004-2006, the Tornado have won seven NAHL Regular Season Division titles and had seven straight 40+ win seasons from 1999-2007. Since 1999, the Tornado have developed and moved on over 130 players onto NHL, NCAA and professional teams.