First hockey game at new arena set for Oct. 16Written by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
The Toledo Walleye hockey team will break in the new Lucas County Arena with its season opener Oct. 16.
Walleye Head Coach Nick Vitucci said the new arena will be a good place to play and watch hockey games.
“It’s been a great recruiting tool and provides players with an opportunity to play in an arena of this quality,” Vitucci said.
The Lucas County Arena seats 7,500 fans for sporting events and 9,000 for concerts, replacing the former Toledo Sports Arena’s 5,230-seat capacity.
The arena includes 20 private suites and 850 club level seats located above the main seating area. Four additional party suites, two on the club level and two on the main concourse, are available for rental to the public on an individual game basis.
Fans will appreciate the wide concourses, concessions and rest rooms on both levels of the arena, according to Steve Miller, general manager of the Lucas County Arena and SeaGate Convention Centre for SMG, the company that manages both facilities.
Additionally, fans will see a 20-by-30-foot electronic video board that is located on the wall at the opposite end from the club lounge. It will serve as the main scoreboard, while simultaneously showing replays and other video features.
A 600-foot long ribbon video board runs around three sides of the arena on the facing of the club level. It will flash scores, statistics, sponsorships and special promotions.
A special lounge, named The Aquarium, is located on the main concourse with large glass doors that open onto a patio on Huron Street.
“It’s better than I envisioned and exceeded all my expectations,” said Mark Hummer of Perrysburg, the Walleye season ticket holder who was the first fan to sit in the last seat installed in the arena.
“They certainly did it right. It’s a fabulous facility that will be great for hockey fans,” said Hummer, a longtime season ticket holder of the former Toledo Storm and Goaldigger teams.
His father Donald Hummer is deceased, but served as attorney for Ted Garvin, the former coach of the Goaldiggers. Mark said his family knew Garvin well.
“There’s not a bad seat in the place,” Hummer said. “It’s going to be great to have hockey in Toledo again.”
“There will be no better place to play in the ECHL than Toledo with the Lucas County Arena,” said Mark Bernard, general manager of minor league hockey operations for the Chicago Blackhawks, who announced an affiliation agreement with the Toledo Walleye at the arena.
“I played and coached in Toledo,” Bernard said. “Nick is a great coach and the hockey fans here are knowledgeable and passionate. The Chicago Blackhawks are thrilled with this agreement.”