CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - With the drop of a puck and the slap of a stick, the Charlotte Checkers battled the Hershey Bears in their seventh home game of the season. Fans of all ages have something new to be excited about this year.
"You've got a better brand of hockey than you had a couple years ago," said Chester Wronski. "You get some of the best talent from all over the world here," commented BJ Hinson.
This year the players are skating in the AHL league. That's just one step away from the majors. "The level of play is higher, the relationship with the Carolina Hurricanes is a lot better, so it's really a lot of fun," said Tera Black, Chief Operating Officer.
Black says it opens new opportunities for both fans and players. "Because our NHL affiliate is two and a half hours up the road, it really gives you an opportunity to see the players grow from the young prospects to the NHL superstars."
That's something Chester Wronski's been doing for years. "When I was younger I went to games in Springfield, in the American League, so when they got an American League team we decided, hey we want to come!"
The Wronski's then bought a package of tickets. "If you're there with the crowd, and the speed and the hitting, and the goal scoring... this team's pretty exciting, so it's worth coming to," he said.
"It's the most affordable entertainment sports option in town, we try to make our games really entertaining off the ice as well as on the ice," said Black.
It's something to be proud of and cheer about throughout the city.