Jacks hope Camden Yards will be their ticket, too

June 27, 1992|By Ashley McGeachy | Ashley McGeachy,Staff Writer

The Skipjacks are hoping that the "Camden Yards experience" will lead to the Baltimore Arena experience.

As people get reacquainted with downtown Baltimore by going to Orioles games, Skipjacks president Tom Ebright envisions hockey attendance increasing past last season's 154,000, the second-highest total since the Skipjacks arrived in the 1982-83 season.

"We are 20 [thousand] to 25,000 people away from the glory days of the Clippers in the '60s," Ebright said of the city's previous American Hockey League franchise, which played here from 1962 to '76. "We want attendance up to 170,000. The Orioles have done us a great favor, reintroducing downtown to 2 million people and showing them that it's not a bad place. Hopefully it will rub off on us, simply because so many people walk past the Arena going to the ballpark."

Those who stop at the Arena will find Skipjacks tickets cost slightly more than last season. The $12 tickets remain, but the $9.50 tickets are $10 and the $5 and $7 tickets have increased by a dollar each.

The show might be worth it, however. New head coach Barry Trotz is leading a group of young, hungry players that he recruited when he was the assistant coach under Rob Laird.

"We have a bubble of young players that are NHL material," Trotz said. "Many of them are already back and working out at Piney Orchard [training camp for the Skipjacks and the Washington Capitals] because they really want to do well this year."

Ebright likes the talent that is developing for the Skipjacks.

"We are going to allow the bubble to develop more naturally here because the Capitals don't need these kids right now," he said. "These kids are going to be able to develop and simmer."

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