Springfield Thunderbirds release promotional schedule for 2019-20 season
SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Thunderbirds, proud AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers, today announced their exciting promotions and theme nights for the 2019-20 season, presented by MGM Springfield. Following a historic 2018-19 season that saw the Thunderbirds once again eclipse franchise attendance records and host the AHL All-Star Classic, the team will look to build upon signature nights while continuing to cultivate new and exciting promotional game night experiences for fans of all ages.
The fourth season of Springfield Thunderbirds hockey begins on Saturday, Oct. 5 for Opening Night presented by MGM Springfield. In the team’s annual tradition, fans will be treated to a pregame Block Party from 4:00 - 6:00 PM presented by Community Bank N.A., located at Court Square in downtown Springfield. The outdoor bash will feature live music, food, and drink. In addition, the Thunderbirds will be introduced before the Block Party crowd for an up-close first look at the squad heading into the season.
Fans interested in attending Opening Night can take advantage of a value offer with the purchase of aDunkin’ Opening Night Pack, which starts at $80 in the Defense Zone, $95 in the Attack Zone sections and $110 in the Center Value Zone sections. Fans who purchase a pack will receive: two (2) tickets to Opening Night on Oct. 5; four (4) vouchers redeemable at any regular season game in 2019-20 (subject to availability); one (1) T-Birds hat; a Dunkin’ gift card; and one (1) Big E admission*.
(*Please note: Big E admissions will only be included in packages for the first 100 purchasers of a Center Value Opening Night pack; Big E admissions will not be included with the Defense Zone and Attack Zone packs)
“This is always one of the most exciting times of the year, and we could not be more excited to get our fourth season underway,” said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. “As an organization, it’s important for us to provide a first-class experience for fans of all ages and interests, and we think there is something for everyone to enjoy on our schedule this season - with more yet to come!”
Promotional Appearances & Giveaways
The Thunderbirds will once again be hosts to a living legend, this time as part of the fourth annualHometown Heroes Night presented by United Bank on Saturday, Jan. 25. With the New Year marking the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Olympic hockey team’s “Miracle on Ice” gold medal triumph, the Thunderbirds will welcome 1980 Olympic team captain Mike Eruzione, a Boston University alumnus and Massachusetts native, for a meet-and-greet and inclusion in pregame festivities. The Thunderbirds will also be wearing specialty jerseys inspired by the Miracle on Ice team.
Eruzione’s appearance will supplement the traditional recognition of Western Massachusetts’ emergency personnel and first responders. Police, fire, and ambulance vehicles will circle the rink during an intermission, among other in-game elements. Additionally, the specialty jerseys will be auctioned off with a portion of proceeds benefiting Ride to Remember and other local charities.
As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, the Thunderbirds will hold their first-ever Celtic Night on Sat., Mar. 14, highlighted by an appearance by former Boston Celtic Brian Scalabrine. Fans will have the chance for a meet-and-greet with Scalabrine as part of an Irish celebration throughout the evening.
During the 2019-20 season, Thunderbirds fans will have the opportunity to get their hands on a plethora of giveaway souvenir items, beginning on Opening Night with rally towels and magnet schedules.
Ok-T-Bird-Fest attendees will once again be taking home a special edition Thunderbirds beer stein on Oct. 27.
With the holiday season approaching, the Thunderbirds will unveil the fourth installment of the Boomer Bobblehead on Dec. 27, compliments of Stop & Shop.
Kids will once again have a chance to pick up a youth T-Birds jersey on Feb. 21, with the first 1,000 fans aged 12-and-under getting their hands on this special gift thanks to Columbia Gas of Massachusetts.
The giveaways keep coming on Feb. 29 on Military Appreciation Night with T-Birds camo hats going to the first 1,000 fans in attendance, compliments of the U.S. Marine Corps.
In conjunction with Facial, Cosmetic & Maxillofacial Surgery, the first 1,000 fans in attendance will once again have a giveaway opportunity on Mar. 27 to pick up a T-Birds jersey-style rally towel.
Even more new themes and giveaways are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
As has become a tradition with the Thunderbirds franchise, specialty jerseys will again be spotlighted on a number of occasions throughout the season, with fans having a chance to take home these limited edition threads.
The unique looks begin on Saturday, Nov. 23 against Providence for the second annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night. In conjunction with the National Hockey League initiative, the Thunderbirds will honor and remember those who have fought and continue to fight the dreaded disease. Springfield will wear lavender-clad jerseys to signify and represent the never-quit attitude of these “fighters.” Proceeds from the Hockey Fights Cancer jerseys will directly benefit cancer charities.
For the return of Blast from the Past Night presented by MassMutual on Saturday, Jan. 11 against Providence, the Thunderbirds will be paying homage to the 30th anniversary of the 1990 Calder Cup champion Indians with a jersey modeled after that season’s look.
As part of this season’s Hometown Heroes Night presented by United Bank on Saturday, Jan. 25, the Thunderbirds will, for the first time, sport a jersey commemorating not just our country’s first responders and emergency personnel, but also the 40th anniversary of the 1980 U.S. Olympic “Miracle on Ice” team that captured a gold medal. Fittingly, 1980 “Miracle on Ice” captain and Boston University alumnus Mike Eruzione will be on hand as part of this special occasion.
The Thunderbirds will unveil a new type of promotion on Saturday, Feb. 1 when the Hartford Wolf Pack come to town for “What If?” Night presented by Balise. Fans will have a chance to imagine what hockey could have looked like in Springfield under different circumstances, and the T-Birds will sport a surprise specialty jersey to commemorate the occasion. More details on “What If?” Night will be unveiled on Thunderbirds social media in the coming weeks.
Lastly, the Thunderbirds will continue the annual Pink in the Rink tradition on Saturday, Mar. 7 when the Providence Bruins come to town. The Thunderbirds will again be dressed in pink in solidarity with the thousands of women in Western Massachusetts that have valiantly gone to bat against breast cancer. Jersey auction proceeds from the night will benefit Baystate Health’s Rays of Hope Foundation.
One of the most popular returning game-night promotions is the fan-favorite 3-2-1 Fridays. From the time doors open through the end of the first period, fans can purchase select $3 Coors Light drafts (12 oz),$2 Hot Dogs, and $1 sodas. Thunderbirds Full Season and 22 Game ticket members will also be able to get these great drink specials at every game this season by showing the brand new Ticket Holder Challenge Coin at purchase.
Carrying on the second part of Friday night traditions, the Thunderbirds will once again showcase theMGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series. Local artists of Springfield and the Pioneer Valley will headline on the main concourse of the MassMutual Center before each Friday home game, with concerts beginning at 6:00 p.m., ET.
Returning in 2019 is the School Day Game presented by MassMutual and Fontaine Bros. Construction. On Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 10:35 a.m., the Thunderbirds will host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for morning hockey action that is expected to bring thousands of grade school students from Springfield Public Schools and the surrounding area districts. The MassMutual Center is the field trip destination, and the hockey game will be transformed into an educational experience for the young fans in attendance. Every student will receive a Thunderbirds workbook as their “assignment” for what is sure to be a school day they will not soon forget.
The T-Birds will also make Sundays all about families with the return of Sunday Fundays. For each of the Thunderbirds’ four Sunday games, a family of four will have the ability to purchase a package of four tickets, four hot dogs, four small popcorns, four small sodas, starting from just $60.
Sundays will also be spotlighted by special character appearances, made possible by My Princess Dream Party. Guests throughout the 2019-20 season include Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Baby Shark, Mama Shark, Princess Jasmine, Mulan, Spongebob, and Paw Patrol.
Springfield Thunderbirds 2019-20 Season – At A Glance
Opening Night presented by MGM Springfield & Pregame Block Party presented by Community Bank N.A.
(Thunderbirds vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Sat., Oct. 5, 7:05 p.m. ET; Block party 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ET @ Court Square)
For the first time in team history, the Thunderbirds will open the regular season slate on home ice, seeking their fourth straight Opening Night sellout crowd as they host the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Sat., Oct. 5 at 7:05 p.m. Prior to game action, the 2019-20 Thunderbirds will be introduced on stage live at the Community Bank N.A. Pregame Block Party. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy live music and have the chance to purchase food and drink refreshments.
When the action heads inside to the MassMutual Center, the fans in attendance will receive T-Birds rally towels and magnet schedules. Fans are encouraged to get into their seats by 6:50 p.m. to witness the full team introduction and pregame festivities.
(Thunderbirds vs. Belleville Senators, Sat., Oct. 26, 7:05 p.m. ET)
For a second straight year, the Thunderbirds will transform the Thunderdome into a German beer hall for a special pregame beer tasting event inside the MassMutual Center, and the first 1,000 fans will receive a commemorative T-Birds beer stein.
T-Birds 101 - School Day Game presented by MassMutual & Fontaine Bros. Construction
(Thunderbirds vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Weds., Nov. 13, 10:35 a.m. ET)
On the heels of last year’s record School Day Game crowd, the Thunderbirds will pack the MassMutual Center for a divisional battle the morning of Nov. 13 against Lehigh Valley. Students from the area will have a chance to have hockey in their curriculum for a day with links between the blue line and the classroom throughout the morning.
Hockey Fights Cancer Night (Specialty Jerseys)
(Thunderbirds vs. Providence Bruins, Sat., Nov. 23, 7:05 p.m. ET)
For the second straight season, the Thunderbirds will be one of a handful of AHL teams to join the National Hockey League in support of the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative. Springfield will be wearing specialty lavender jerseys in honor and memory of cancer patients who are currently fighting the disease and those that are no longer with us.
Teddy Bear Toss presented by Teddy Bear Pools and Spas
(Thunderbirds vs. Laval Rocket, Sat., Dec. 7, 7:05 p.m. ET)
The 4th Annual Teddy Bear Toss highlights the holiday season when the T-Birds host Laval on Sat., Dec. 7. Stuffed animals will rain down during the celebration of Springfield’s first goal and, in turn, those toys will be donated to underprivileged children for the holiday season. Past benefactors have included the Boys & Girls Clubs, Ronald McDonald House, and Square One.
Ring in the New Year presented by MGM Springfield / Boomer Bobblehead presented by Stop & Shop
(Thunderbirds vs. Providence Bruins, Fri., December 27, 7:05 p.m. ET)
T-Birds fans will have the chance to add to their bobblehead collection with this year’s installment of the Boomer Bobblehead, compliments of Stop & Shop. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early to secure one of the 2,500 bobbleheads that will be given out before the T-Birds play host to the Providence Bruins. This game night will also celebrate the New Year with the final 3-2-1 Friday and MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series of the 2019 calendar year.
Blast from the Past Night presented by MassMutual - Springfield Indians Specialty Throwback Jerseys
(Thunderbirds vs. Providence Bruins, Sat., Jan. 11, 7:05 p.m. ET)
The Thunderbirds will break out another vintage Springfield hockey jersey in the return of Blast from the Past Night on Jan. 11 against the Providence Bruins, as Springfield will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 1989-90 Calder Cup champion Indians. The evening will once again bring about a vintage look and feel throughout the game presentation and surroundings.
Hometown Heroes Night presented by United Bank ft. Special Appearance by Mike Eruzione (Specialty Jerseys)
(Thunderbirds vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Sat., Jan. 25, 7:05 p.m. ET)
Our local everyday heroes will be recognized for Hometown Heroes Night presented by United Bank. Pioneer Valley police, fire, and first responders will be honored throughout the evening, appearing alongside the emergency vehicles of the respective departments. In commemoration of our nation’s heroes and the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic hockey team, the Thunderbirds will wear USA themed jerseys. To top it off, “Miracle” team captain Mike Eruzione will pay a visit to Springfield for a meet-and-greet for all fans in attendance.
Military Appreciation Night presented by King Ward Coach Lines
(Thunderbirds vs. Providence Bruins, Sat., February 29, 7:05 p.m. ET)
Military men and women, both active and veteran, will receive their just appreciation on February 29 when the T-Birds square off against Providence. The Thunderbirds will honor and thank military members from all branches of the service through special pregame ceremonies and other in-game presentations. Military vehicles will also be present that evening to add to the atmosphere of the night’s game elements. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a T-Birds camo hat, compliments of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Pink in the Rink presented by Baystate Health to benefit Rays of Hope (Specialty Jerseys)
(Thunderbirds vs. Providence Bruins, Sat., March 7, 7;05 p.m. ET)
Another of the annual traditions in Thunderbirds lore, Pink in the Rink returns for a third straight year in conjunction with Baystate Health and the Rays of Hope Foundation. Before the game faces off, players and fans will stand witness to some of the bravest women in the Pioneer Valley - our area’s own breast cancer survivors - during a poignant pregame ceremony. The Thunderbirds will wear pink jerseys to support the cause and the continuing battle against breast cancer. Jerseys will be auctioned post-game, with proceeds benefiting the Rays of Hope Foundation in conjunction with Baystate Health.
(Thunderbirds vs. Utica Comets, Sat., March 14, 7:05 p.m. ET)
On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, the Thunderbirds will celebrate with an Irish themed night and a special appearance by former Boston Celtic Brian Scalabrine. Fans will have the opportunity to be up close and personal with Scalabrine during a meet-and-greet before the Thunderbirds take on the Utica Comets.
Pucks N’ Paws Night presented by Dave’s Soda & Pet City, Lexington Group
(Thunderbirds vs. Charlotte Checkers, Sat., March 28, 7;05 p.m. ET)
For the third straight season, the Thunderbirds will invite their four-legged friends for a special dog-friendly day at the rink, presented by Dave’s Soda & Pet City and Lexington Group. A portion of each dog ticket purchased that evening will benefit the Foundation for TJO Animals.
Sunday Fundays ft. Character Appearances presented by My Princess Dream Party
(All Sunday afternoon games: Oct. 6 vs. CHA, 3:05 p.m.; Oct. 27 vs. ROC, 5:05 p.m.; Feb. 23 vs. SYR, 5:05 p.m.; Sun., Mar. 8 vs. HFD, 3:05 p.m.)
Sunday Fundays will make a return on three occasions during the 2019-20 season, and families can take advantage of a unique Sunday-only offer. A family of four will have the ability to purchase packages that include: four tickets, four hot dogs, four small popcorns, four small sodas – as part of the Sunday Funday Pack. These affordable packages are priced at $60 in the Defense zone (sections 28-31, 1-5),$70 in the Attack zone (sections 13-20), and $80 in the Center Value area (sections 6-7, 11-12, 21-22, 26-27).
The Sunday Funday packs will be available for purchase up to 24 hours before Sunday games at the MassMutual Center and on the team website.
The Sunday character appearances* scheduled to appear are:
● Oct. 6: Buzz Lightyear & Woody
● Oct. 27: Baby Shark & Mama Shark
● Dec. 7: Princess Jasmine
● Feb. 23: Mulan
● Mar. 8: Spongebob Squarepants
(Subject to change*)
Winning Wednesdays presented by Mass Lottery
(All Wednesday games: Nov. 13, Nov. 27; Dec 4; Jan. 22; Apr. 8)
The Thunderbirds’ five mid-week games will be billed as Winning Wednesdays presented by the Mass Lottery. Should the Thunderbirds win on a Wednesday, any fan with a ticket to the winning game will receive a complimentary ticket to the following Wednesday game on the season schedule.
Springfield Thunderbirds 2019-20 Promotional Schedule Highlights
Dates and promotions subject to change
Saturday, Oct. 5 vs. BRI: Opening Night presented by MGM Springfield / Pregame Block Party presented by Community Bank N.A. / Rally Towel & Magnet Schedule Giveaways
Sunday, Oct. 6 vs. PRO: Kids Opening Day / Sunday Funday ft. Character Appearances / Pregame Fair & Touch-A-Truck / Character Appearances presented by My Dream Party Princess - Woody & Buzz Lightyear
Friday, Oct. 11 vs. ROC: 3-2-1 Friday ft. MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series
Saturday, Oct. 26 vs. BEL: Ok-T-Bird-Fest / Beer Stein Giveaway (1,000)
Sunday, Oct. 27 vs. ROC: Sunday Funday / Character Appearances presented by My Dream Party Princess - Baby Shark & Mama Shark
Friday, Nov. 1 vs. HER: 3-2-1 Friday ft. MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series
Saturday, Nov. 2 vs. WBS: Promotions TBD
Wednesday, Nov. 13 vs. LV (10:35 AM): T-Birds 101 - School Day Game presented by MassMutual & Fontaine Bros. / T-Birds School Workbook / Winning Wednesday presented by Mass Lottery
Friday, Nov. 22 vs. WBS: 3-2-1 Friday ft. MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series
Saturday, Nov. 23 vs. SYR: Hockey Fights Cancer Night / Specialty Lavender Jerseys
Wednesday, Nov. 27 vs. BRI: Winning Wednesday presented by Mass Lottery
Saturday, Nov. 30 vs. LAV: Appearance by Boomer Claus for Holiday photos / Balise Car Wash Night
Wednesday, Dec. 4 vs. LV: Winning Wednesday presented by Mass Lottery
Friday, Dec. 6 vs. HFD: 3-2-1 Friday presented by Big Y / MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series
Saturday, Dec. 7 vs. LAV: Teddy Bear Toss presented by Teddy Bear Pools & Spas / Girl Scout Cookie Kickoff / Character Appearances presented by My Dream Party Princess - Jasmine
Friday, Dec. 13 vs. BNG: 3-2-1 Friday ft. MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series
Saturday, Dec. 14 vs. PRO: Rivalry Night
Friday, Dec. 20 vs. BRI: 3-2-1 Friday ft. MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series / Star Wars Night
Friday, Dec. 27 vs. PRO: 3-2-1 Friday ft. MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series / Boomer Bobblehead Giveaway presented by Stop & Shop
Friday, Jan. 10 vs. BRI: 3-2-1 Friday presented by A. Crane Construction / MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series
Saturday, Jan. 11 vs. PRO: Blast from the Past Night presented by MassMutual / Springfield Indians Specialty Throwback Jerseys
Wednesday, Jan. 22 vs. HER: Winning Wednesday presented by Mass Lottery
Friday, Jan. 24 vs. HER: 3-2-1 Friday presented by King Ward Coach Lines / MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series
Saturday, Jan. 25 vs. BRI: Hometown Heroes Night presented by United Bank / Special Appearance by Mike Eruzione / Specialty USA Hockey Themed Jerseys
Saturday, Feb. 1 vs. HFD: What If? Night presented by Balise - Stay Tuned for More Details!
Friday, Feb. 21 vs. HFD: 3-2-1 Friday ft. MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series / T-Birds Youth Jersey Giveaway presented by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts (first 1,000 kids 12-and-under)
Sunday, Feb. 23 vs. SYR: Sunday Funday / Team Poster Giveaway & Postgame Full Team Autograph Session / Character Appearances presented by My Dream Party Princess - Princess Day
Friday, Feb. 28 vs. BRI: 3-2-1 Friday presented by Eastern States Exposition / MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series
Saturday, Feb. 29 vs. PRO: Military Appreciation Night presented by King Ward Coach Lines / Camo Hat Giveaway presented by U.S. Marine Corps (first 1,000 fans)
Saturday, Mar. 7 vs. PRO: Pink in the Rink Night presented by Baystate Health to benefit Rays of Hope / Specialty Pink Jerseys & Postgame Auction / Pink Rally Towel Giveaway (all fans)
Sunday, Mar. 8 vs. HFD: Sunday Funday / Character Appearances presented by My Dream Party Princess - Spongebob
Friday, Mar. 13 vs. HFD: 3-2-1 Friday presented by Big Y / MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series
Saturday, Mar. 14 vs. UTI: Celtic Night / Special Appearance by Brian Scalabrine
Friday, Mar. 27 vs. PRO: 3-2-1 Friday presented by Facial, Cosmetic & Maxillofacial Surgery ft. Jersey Rally Towel Giveaway (first 1,000 fans) / MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series
Saturday, Mar. 28 vs. CHA: Pucks N’ Paws presented by Dave’s Soda & Pet City, Lexington Group / Character Appearances presented by My Dream Party Princess - Paw Patrol
Wednesday, Apr. 8 vs. CHA: Winning Wednesday presented by Mass Lottery
Friday, Apr. 10 vs. BRI: Fan Appreciation Weekend Giveaways / 3-2-1 Friday presented by Tommy Car Auto Group / MGM Springfield Pregame Concert Series
Saturday, Apr. 11 vs. PRO: Fan Appreciation Weekend Giveaways / Pregame Block Party presented by Community Bank N.A.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www. Springfieldthunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages start at $13 per game and feature the most benefits, including an exclusive commemorative jersey.