on Friday, October 19, 2018
During the 2017/18 hockey season, every Waterloo Black Hawks game mattered.
Each point in the league standings (two points for a win, one point for an overtime/shootout loss) was significant, a fact which became increasingly evident as the schedule waned. By the final night of the regular season, the Hawks were one victory away from claiming the Anderson Cup for having the United States Hockey League’s best record.
The team came through, in front of more than 3,400 fans at Young Arena, topping the Des Moines Buccaneers 6-0 on April 14th and celebrating with both the trophy and the huge, cheering crowd.
Throughout the winter, Waterloo’s success at home had made the difference. The Hawks completed their schedule with a league-best 22-7-1 home record. They lost only once at home from the start of February to the end of the year.
Black Hawks fans definitely had a hand in their team’s 2017/18 Anderson Cup title. In fact, for nearly two decades the impact of the raucous crowds at Young Arena has been recognized with a retired jersey number. No Waterloo player takes the ice in #7, because that special number represents the unique “7th Man Advantage” that the Hawks have while playing at home.
The team has also had the opportunity to recognize its loyal supporters in other ways over recent seasons with a number of facility enhancements designed to improve the fan experience.
Just last September, the building’s Coors Light Cold Zone was expanded to host additional patrons for home games, featuring live pregame music on select nights. This capital investment project almost doubled the square footage of the original Cold Zone space, which has become one of the most popular areas of the arena on game night.
The Black Hawks also invested significant resources in order to introduce two new luxury suites in February of 2018. The new luxury boxes feature theater-style seating for 20, along with HDTVs and a personal attendant. The new suites have been a huge success with local business professionals thus far.
The introduction of the Party Town Shuttle Bus service was also a hit in 2017/18. Patrons could take advantage of the free shuttle to and from remote parking on game nights 6-10pm. The Party Town Shuttle be available again this year.
Perhaps most important to those attending with their families last season, a new arrangement with Waterloo Leisure Services included the opportunity to offer several $2.00 food concession special nights and Family 4 Pack deals, which included discounted food and drinks along with game tickets. These helped to bring the excitement of Black Hawks hockey to a whole new level of value for parents and kids alike.
With the 2018/19 home schedule officially underway, a whole new array of promotions, giveaways, and special offers are planned.
If you haven’t had the chance to get behind the Black Hawks recently, now is the time to get back to Young Arena and help the team keep the Anderson Cup in the Cedar Valley for another season.
Check out their website for a complete season schedule and promotions.
- Tim Harwood, Waterloo Black Hawks HockeyPhoto Credit: Waterloo Black Hawks Hockey