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Instant replay, videos coming to Phantoms games?

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  • Instant replay, videos coming to Phantoms games?

    Colleague Maury Thompson has an update in Monday’s paper on continued efforts to update the Civic Center for next season. This one revolves around the possibility of adding video boards. For the full story, click here, or read below. What upgrades would matter most to you as a fan? What do you want to see added?

    GLENS FALLS –*Itís part of his job to make people laugh.

    Phlex, mascot for the Adirondack Phantoms hockey team, marches up and down the aisles at the Glens Falls Civic Center high-fiving children and sometimes even coaxing grown ups to get up and dance.

    If the teamís owners and city officials get their wish, a new feature will be added to the routine next hockey season.

    Fans will be able to look up and see their reaction on a large video screen visible to everyone in the arena.

    “People love to see themselves on TV and just to see themselves on the big screen. They love to ham it up,” said Mike Thompson, the teamís vice president of operations.

    Securing funding, either from the state and federal government or from private sponsors, to install video boards at the Civic Center will be among the issues for discussion in 2010, Mayor John “Jack” Diamond said in an interview at City Hall last week.

    “I think itís something thatís going to be necessary to continue having AHL in the building,” Diamond said.

    The arena is one of the few hosting an AHL team that does not have video boards.

    Ideally, video boards will be installed in time for the start of the 2010-11 season next fall, but it would be contingent on securing outside funding. Diamond said he wouldnít support paying for the addition with city property tax revenues.

    The cost for video boards, depending on the size and format, can range anywhere from $250,000 to $1 million, said Jason Blumenfeld, the Civic Centerís general manager.

    “Itís just like a telephone. Every day the technologyís changing,” he said.

    There also are a variety of ways to finance them, under lease or purchase plans, he said.

    Video boards wouldnít necessarily bring more fans out to games, but they would make the spectator experience more exciting and would provide new advertising revenues for the Phantoms, said Thompson, the teamís general manager.

    The team can use the boards to show funny videos and game highlights.

    “Not only that, but we can do a lot of things during intermissions and for sponsors. We can do a lot of more graphics interactive things,” Thompson said.

    The Phantoms, the top farm club of the Philadelphia Flyers, relocated to Glens Falls from Philadelphia this season.

    The owners have an agreement to play up to five seasons in Glens Falls, with language that allows them to cancel the agreement at the end of any season.

    Diamond said he is confident the Phantoms will remain in Glens Falls next season with or without video boards, although its important to get them as soon as possible.

    Management already is planning its season-ticket drive, which is a good sign, Diamond said.

    “Weíre certainly going to be here,” Thompson confirmed.

    “The first thing we need to do is our renewal campaign. Thatís going to kick off mid- to late February,” Thompson continued. “Then when we get close to the end of season; then weíll certainly kick off our new season-ticket campaign. And both of those definitely will be in earnest through April and May.”

    Thompson said this season the team wound up selling the equivalent of 2,280 full season tickets, after partial season packages were factored in.

    “The goal for next season is most certainly 2,500, and I donít think thatís too much of a tall order,” he said.