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Binghamton Rangers

1990 - 1997

American Hockey League (AHL)

Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena

Rangers’ Schedule Weighs Slightly Toward The Road

July 23, 1996

Sean Mayer, Staff Writer

The Binghamton Rangers came up just short in their pursuit of a very satisfying American Hockey League schedule.

One home game short that is.

The 1996-97 schedule, released by the league on Monday, has the Rangers playing 39 home games instead of the customary 40. The STOP DWI Holiday Classic-a high school basketball tournament held in late December at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena—has forced the Rangers to play a home game with Syracuse on Saturday, Dec. 28 in Utica.

The Rangers open their season on Friday, Oct. 4 in Syracuse. The two teams will meet the following night in Binghamton’s home opener.

The regular season concludes April 15 in Adirondack.

Managing general partner Tom Mitchell said the Dec. 28 game would have been moved to another Saturday or holiday date if possible, but not to a date during the week.

“The date between Christmas and New Year’s was a date the hockey team had for years,” he said. “As far as we’re concerned, that’s a prime date—attendance has always been good. We would rather have 40 games here, but moving the game to a week night is a financial disaster.”

According to Mitchell, season ticket holders will have three options regarding the Dec. 28 game. They can receive a refund worth 1/40th of their season tickets; receive two tickets for the game in Utica; or attend a game at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena pitting the Rangers against an international squad. Mitchell is in the process of arranging such a game.

Aside from one less home game, Mitchell was very pleased with the Rangers’ slate. Thirty-seven of the home games are on weekends or holidays.

“I think it’s a great schedule,” said Mitchell, whose team plays 34 of its games against New York State teams. “It’s great from a fan’s point of view and from a traveling point for the team.”

Other noteworthy scheduling items include:

--Home games on Thanksgiving (Providence), the day after Christmas (Hershey), and New Year’s Eve (Kentucky).

--A seven-game, 11-day road trip against teams from the Canadian Division that begins Dec. 4 in Hamilton and ends Dec. 14 in Fredericton.

--Starting times for the three non-holiday weekday games have been moved up one-half hour to 7:05 p.m. to better accommodate families.

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