IceHogs fans hopeful for hockey next season
ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Just like everything else, the IceHogs have had their routine on tilt since the pandemic. With no games tentatively scheduled until Feb. 5, 2021, the Hogs found a way to bring the fans back to the BMO.
“We know they’ll be back. Whenever it may be.”
That was the sentiment from fans throughout the BMO Harris Bank Center at the annual “Garage Sale” on Saturday; getting a chance to do some shopping, and catching up with familiar faces.
“It definitely is awesome. It shows that people haven’t forgot about them,” said James Hicks III, a fan from Hampshire. “Obviously the IceHogs haven’t forgot about their fans either, which is really nice.”
“It’s just nice to have some sort of normalcy, if you will and do something like this,” explained Mike Peck, IceHogs Director of Business Operations. “Where we can get people in here, get them into the arena. There’s no ice, but at least there’s some IceHogs stuff. Just to interact with people has been pretty cool.”
Peck said it’s been strange for him because usually he’s deep into hockey this time of year.
“Our season-ticket holders, all of our fans, it’s been really cool reconnecting and talking with them because we haven’t seen them since March,” said Peck.
Even the fans are starting to go stir crazy without their favorite hockey team.
”We miss it, honestly,” explained Shelby Didricksen, a fan from Hampshire. “We miss going during the week when they have the weeknight games or the weekend games, where we’re like oh let’s just go hop in the car and take a last minute game and let’s go.”
Sethadam Hutchinson makes the trip up from Joliet. He said he comes to all the “Dog Day” games. While he is optimistic for a season, he still has questions.
“Even if it does happen, are we going to do the same thing that the bigger sports teams are doing,” questioned Hutchinson. “Where it’s cardboard cutouts and whatnot in the stands and not actual fans? Because, I know down by us, it’s going to be hard for me to watch games on TV they’re aired.”
“We’re obviously hoping to get fans into the building, but that’s really out of our control” said Peck. “But we’ll look at everything, at every option.”
Peck tells 23 News if there is a season come February, it will not be a condensed season. He would expect it to go into the summer.
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