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And now, for the Newfoundland Growlers' next season

Newfoundland Growlers Owner Dean MacDonald was feeling bubbly after his team’s Kelly Cup win Tuesday night, a championship that should give a big boost to the team’s marketing effort for its second season in the ECHL.
Newfoundland Growlers Owner Dean MacDonald was feeling bubbly after his team’s Kelly Cup win Tuesday night, a championship that should give a big boost to the team’s marketing effort for its second season in the ECHL. - Jeff Parsons

In the wake of its Kelly Cup win, team won’t waste any time beginning a new ticket-marketing campaign

Members of the Newfoundland Growlers office staff gathered Wednesday, the day after the team won the 2019 ECHL championship at Mile One Centre in St. John’s. But while the meeting might be seen as a celebratory wrap-up of an inaugural season that ended perfectly, it also marked the start of a brand new campaign.

In the wake of their big win, the Growlers are preparing their season-ticket marketing for 2019-20, and that effort should start almost immediately

“You couldn’t write a better script than that. It should definitely help as we begin the push for next season,” said team owner Dean MacDonald after the Growlers’ Kelly Cup-clinching 4-3 win over the Toledo Walleye Tuesday night at Mile One Centre.

But MacDonald said there is a more practical reason to get a new ticket campaign underway as soon as possible. Because of its long championship run, the team is now facing with a very short off-season. A new training camp will begin in about 16 weeks and that will be after some of the Growlers’ organizational focus has been devoted to the training camp of the parent Toronto Maple Leafs, which will be held in St. John’s in mid-September.

“We’re the only team in the league that hasn’t started marketing for next season,” said MacDonald.

But while MacDonald sees the just-won championship as an obvious marketing tool, he believes the Growlers’ two-month run through four rounds of the ECHL post-season will prove to be just as important.

After averaging 3,784 per game for 36-regular-season contest at Mile One, 18th-best in the 27-team ECHL, Newfoundland drew almost 900 more per outing — 4,668 — during a dozen playoff contests. And the attendance kept climbing in successive rounds, culminating in the largest crowd of the season on Tuesday night. A total of 6,329 were on hand for the Growlers’ 4-3 win over the Walleye.

“As more people started coming to the games during the playoffs, they got to see the quality of the hockey,” said MacDonald. “It’s one thing to tell someone how good this league is, how good our team is, but the big thing is that they actually see it first-hand.

“It’s great hockey. It’s not grabbing and traps. It’s more open, with two-on-ones, three-on-twos, play up and down the ice. There are mistakes, but there is the talent to take advantage of the mistakes and create scoring chances.

“It’s exciting hockey and now, more people realize it.”


There is still some more unfinished business from the 2018-19 season for the Growlers.

Exit meetings with the players begin today and on Wednesday, the team, was working at nailing down a plan for a victory parade.

It looks like the latter will be held Friday evening, with the initial thought being that the parade route would be in the Mile One Centre-George Street area, topped off a rally at Prince Edward Plaza.

Twitter: @telybrendan


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