The Springfield Thunderbirds are the minor league ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL) and an affiliate of NHL’s Florida Panthers. The team is contrived of 19 developing players that are on their way to becoming the next big names of the NHL. The team moved to Springfield, MA in June 2016 through the hard work of more than two-dozen businessmen and women and the Springfield community. The team played their first game in Springfield on October 22, 2016 with an exciting overtime 5-4 win over the St. John’s IceCaps. The Thunderbirds finished their successful inaugural season in 4th place in the Atlantic Division and 1st place in the hearts of the Springfield community.
The Thunderbirds play their action-packed games at MassMutual Center in the city’s Metro Center. The arena, that is also home to the American International Yellow Jackets, holds 6,455 permanent seats, 222 club seats and an 18ft by 12ft 4-sided center hung LED video board that give fans the opportunity to view the game from any angle.
Not only is the arena perfect for the game-day experience, the team also offers various theme nights that make the Thunderbird games fun for the whole family. Themes and promotions for the upcoming 2017-2018 season include,
- David Ortiz Night
- Blast from the Past Night
- Sundae Funday
- Winning Weekday
… and more!
Despite the teams youth in the area, the Thunderbirds have become proud members of the Springfield, Pioneer Valley and Western Massachusetts communities. With their various special events including Pink in the Rink to honor breast cancer survivors, Stick to Reading program for elementary school children to earn free tickets, and Pucks N’ Paws when pups were invited into the rink to help raise money for the Foundation for TJO Animals, the thunderbirds have become active both on and off the ice. To learn more about their community engagement, click here.
The Thunderbirds provide an exciting, inexpensive, and enjoyable way to see the future stars of the NHL up close and in action right in downtown Springfield. You won’t want to miss out!