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Thunderbirds’ opener sold out Saturday

The Springfield Thunderbirds have announced that Saturday night’s inaugural home opener at the MassMutual Center is sold out.

The capacity crowd of 6,793 fans will be the largest for an AHL game in Springfield since 2002. The Thunderbirds host the St. John’s IceCaps at 7:05 p.m.

“This is an incredible milestone for our new organization,” said Thunderbirds executive vice president Nathan Costa. “A sell-out crowd on opening night is a testament to the city’s excitement and enthusiasm for this team and we can’t wait for people to come down and experience the amazing game night we have planned. It’s going to be a memorable night in Springfield.”

Opening night celebrations will begin with the T-Birds Tailgate at 4 p.m. on Court Square, featuring $3 draft beers, live music from Briefcase Full of Blues, and food courtesy of Student Prince & Nadim’s. Fans are encouraged to get to their seats early for pre-game festivities including a ceremonial puck drop with Mayor Domenic Sarno and Thunderbirds officials, and to stay around for a post-game party at the Shops at Marketplace featuring music from Jake Manzi.

In celebration of this milestone, the Thunderbirds will be offering up to $5 off the price of a ticket for next Friday and Saturday’s games. This is an opportunity both for those who were unable to make it to Opening Night as well as those who want to come back for more. The Oct. 28 game against Bridgeport is $1 Night (with $1 hot dogs, soda, and popcorn) and launches the Pregame Concert Series. Oct. 29, against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, features T-Birds Trick or Treat for Halloween.