Springfield Thunderbirds staff preparing from upcoming season

We are about a month away from the Springfield Thunderbirds season opener at the MassMutual Center and on Tuesday, the team’s operations personnel held a meetin
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 11:45 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 13, 2022 at 6:44 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - We are about a month away from the Springfield Thunderbirds season opener at the MassMutual Center and on Tuesday, the team’s operations personnel held a meeting to prepare while also receiving praise for their work last season by a special guest.

The success of the Thunderbirds goes beyond those on the ice and the reigning Eastern Conference Champions are counting on the whole team to go even further this upcoming season. The Thunderbirds’ operations team and president Nate Costa got together on Tuesday to discuss moving forward after just falling short of winning the Calder Cup last season.

“We were recognized as team of the year this last year across the American Hockey League for both on-ice performance and our business performance, so it means we’re moving in the right direction. We got a lot of work still to do,” Costa explained.

Also on Tuesday, employees received praise for last year’s effort and that came from Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.

“They were very successful on the ice, but operations is very, very important off the ice and they did a tremendous job, an award-winning job,” Sarno said.

According to Sarno, the operations team “made Springfield proud” and brought a lot of business to the city.

“Ask Red Rose, ask Nadim’s, ask Theordores’, ask White Lion, ask The Fort. I can go on and on. Pre-game & post-game, T-Birds baby,” Sarno added.

With their effort, those who work behind the scenes increased attendance from 2,500 fans to near sellouts. Costa told Western Mass News that one of the first orders of business this year is to fill the arena on opening night.

“It will be a fun night. We’re going to be putting an Eastern Conference Champions banner in the arena. It’ll be a celebratory day [and] everyone who comes to the rink is going to get a free mini banner too,” Costa said.

As for Sarno, he has already renewed his season tickets and is hyped for the new year.

“Get the bling chains. They sold out last year. It’s good to be able to laugh at myself every once in a while. We can’t take ourselves to seriously and hopefully, this continues to bring good luck to the T-Birds. How ‘bout them T-Birds?!” Sarno exclaimed.

The first puck-drop for the Thunderbirds is on Saturday, October 15 at 7 p.m. when they host the Bridgeport Islanders.