As a sure sign that the 2009-10 season is rapidly approaching we announced our pre-season game schedule this week. We will be playing the Chicago Wolves in both games on September 25 at Wilson Park here in Milwaukee and then the next night in Hoffman Estates, Illinois all in preparation for the regular season opener in October 3 at Chicago.
People have asked me – “Why Wilson Park this year?” Well, it’s for a variety of reasons. They really reached out to us and invited us to play there. It’s a larger facility with great parking. Also, it’s a facility where beer can be served which was a comment often asked by fans at our games at the Kern Center which is an on-campus facility. We will continue to have our training camp, which begins on September 22, at the Kern Center which is a fantastic building and gives our coaches the best possible chance to prepare our team both prior to and during the season.
The schedule was announced a couple of weeks ago and we are pleased with the outcome. It’s a long, laborious project that involves all 29 teams, their respective buildings and the league office. In our case, we have to wait until the Milwaukee Bucks receive their completed schedule from the NBA before we can move forward with available dates. We are one of four teams that share our buildings with NBA teams joining Lake Erie (Cavaliers), Houston (Rockets) and San Antonio (Spurs). The four of us pretty much hold up the entire league from releasing a schedule but thanks to all of the hard work of Bill Scott and Lauren Peterson in the AHL office we are able to get the best possible schedule for our fans. There is a lot of horse-trading between teams so that all of the travel makes the most sense and teams can try and get the schedule the way they want it to be for their own business purposes.
We are starting with a six-game road trip this year and the latest home opener in team history, October 24 vs Manitoba. We will visit Abbotsford, British Columbia for the first time ever in October as well which should be interesting. We start with 16 of our first 22 games on the road which is going to be a challenge but we then from January 28 through the end of the season we play 23 of the final 33 games at home.
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