Friday, August 28, 2009

A look at the Dr. Pepper Arena

Last night, the Texas Tornado held an Open House to show off the renovation of the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco where the team held an inter squad game, then afterward you could meet the players and head coach Tony Curtale along with assistant Jesse Davis about the upcoming season. In addition, the arena has some new features and changed some things that I will go into more detail in a little bit such adding all LED Light scoreboards and a new Gold Club.

First, the fans seemed to be happy to have junior hockey back in the D/FW Area after having the team being off the ice for a year and a half. The last time the Tornado were on the ice was on April 11, 2008 when the Topeka Roadrunners completed a 3 game sweep in the South Division Semifinal where they were outscored 18-3 in the 3 games after finishing 4th in the South Division that year. During the 2007-2008 regular season, the team went into the playoffs with a record of 20-33-5 with just 45 points which was the worst record of the 12 playoff teams that year.

From the players that I got to chat with, the team is ready to start the season and reintroduce the team to the D/FW Area, especially from 2004-2006 when the Tornado won 3 straight NAHL Robertson Cup Championship including winning it on home soil in 2004.

From the players thoughts, the teams in the South Division to watch out for are the St. Louis Bandits who have won the NAHL Robertson Cup Title the last 3 years and the instate rival Wichita Falls Wildcats where the Wildcats ended the 2008-2009 season with a sour taste after just coming short of pulling off a 1st round upset against the Topeka Roadrunners.

Now the Arena Itself

Some of the biggest changes to the arena is taking out the huge party rooms they used to have and are replacing it with a very nice Gold Club which has flat screen TVS and a view of the Dallas Stars practice rink. Also the number of Suites has been increased from 8 to 12 and they changed the look of them, the suites are about the same size, but the suites will also have access to the team's gold club.

Also, for those of you that are looking for info with a big group, then the Ice Level Party Zone and the Promenade Picnic Zone are for you.

The Ice Level Party Zone is intended for groups that have can have any where from 30-100 people. The Party Zone is a private area behind the Tornado defending goal with several tables and an eye to eye view of the arena to enjoy the game and mix mingle with your group during breaks in the action.

For smaller groups, the Promenade Picnic Zone is area where you get your own picnic tables in the northeast corner of the arena. This is for groups that have 30-50 people.

Then you can also get group seats in either the premium or end zone seating areas.

Some other perks of a group package in these areas include

  • a personal sales rep and marketing assistance.
  • Your Group recognized on the scoreboard
  • A Raffle for Tornado Merchandise and prizes
  • A Twister Meal Deal that includes a hot dog, bag of chips and a Dr. Pepper Product.

They also have End Zone and Premium ticket packages which also includes these perks and your option of the meal deal.

As for the total capacity, the builders have increased the number of fans that could fit from 3700 to just under 6000 and is clearly the best arena in the Dr. Pepper Arena and is one of the best arenas for junior hockey in all of North America.

I would highly recommend taking in some games for the Texas Tornado when they start the home portion of the schedule on September 25 against the Topeka Roadrunners and nearly all the games are on weekends and with it being in Frisco which is near the Dr. Pepper/7up Ballpark which is home to the Texas Rangers Double A Affiliate Frisco Roughriders and the Stonebriar Mall, it's really easy to get to and when the games start up, it should be really exciting to see the Texas Tornado back in action.

More Texas Tornado Player Spotlights:

Here's some more spotlights on players as we get close to the Texas Tornado Season.

#26 Alexander Jacobs:

#9 John Kelly:

CHL Commissioner Duane Lewis interview on XM Radio

Here's an interview that Commissioner Duane Lewis did earlier this week on the NHL Center Ice show did on the show "Ice Hockey this Morning".

NHL, CHL and AHL Jersey Rankings:

I thought that this would be fun to show everyone, the Hockey News Magazine recently did a minor hockey league Jersey rankings for different leagues including the Central Hockey League and the American Hockey League.

It didn't include the 2 expansion teams the Allen Americans and the Missouri Mavericks because they didn't get to check out the Jerseys in time. According to "The Hockey News" the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees were ranked 1st in the Central Hockey League.

National Hockey League

1. Chicago Blackhawks

2. Boston Bruins

3. Montreal Canadians

4. Detroit Red Wings

5. Minnesota Wild

6. NY Rangers

7. Philadelphia Flyers

8. St. Louis Blues

9. Toronto Maple Leafs

10. Calgary Flames

11. New Jersey Devils

12. Los Angeles Kings

13. Washington Capitals

14. Pittsburgh Penguins

15. Dallas Stars

16. San Jose Sharks

17. Edmonton Oilers

18. Phoenix Coyotes

19. NY Islanders

20. Vancouver Canucks

21. Atlanta Thrashers

22. Carolina Hurricanes

23. Columbus Blue Jackets

24. Anaheim Ducks

25. Nashville Predators

26. Colorado Avalanche

27. Florida Panthers

28. Tampa Bay Lighting

29. Ottawa Senators

30. Buffalo Sabres

Central Hockey League

1. Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees

2. Laredo Bucks

3. Wichita Thunder

4. Tulsa Oilers

5. Amarillo Gorillas

6. Mississippi Riverkings

7. Texas Brahmas

8. Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs

9. Rapid City Rush

10. Odessa Jackalopes

11. Arizona Sundogs

12. Corpus Christi Icerayz

13. Colorado Eagles

American Hockey League

The Jersey Rankings were done in the AHL back in April, at the time, the Texas Stars and the Abbotsford Heat haven't released their uniforms yet.

1. Milwaukee Admirals

2. Rochester Americans

3. San Antonio Rampage

4. Springfield Falcons

5. Manchester Monarchs

6. Worcester Sharks

7. Norfolk Admirals

8. Bridgeport Sound Tigers

9. Peoria Rivermen

10. Chicago Wolves

11. Manitoba Moose

12. Houston Aeros

13. Hershey Bears

14. Toronto Marlies

15. Grand Rapids Griffins

16. Portland Pirates

17. Hartford Wolfpack

18. Providence Bruins

19. Lake Erie Monsters

20. W-B/Scranton Penguins

21. Hamilton Bulldogs

22. Adirondack Phantoms

23. Lowell Devils

24. Syracuse Crunch

25. Rockford Icehogs

26. Albany River Rats

27. Binghamton Senators

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