Savannah Ghost Pirates selected to host ECHL All-Star Classic
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah Ghost Pirates are already making history! The ECHL All-Star hockey classic is coming to the hostess city.
The ECHL is minor league hockey, a feeder league into the NHL.
This all happened because the Ghost Pirates put in a bid with the league along with other cities.
The end result - a unanimous vote from the ECHL’s board of governor’s to have the tournament in Savannah.
It was a packed arena for Friday night’s big announcement.
“The all-star classic will be right here at Enmarket Arena the home of the Ghost Pirates!”
A historic and huge deal for Savannah’s ghost pirates who haven’t been on the ice that long.
“Only our second year...I’ve never seen a team get an All-Star game in year two,” said president and co-owner of the Ghost Pirates, Bob Ohrablo.
Mayor Johnson is looking forward to the expected boost in the economy from the tournament.
“We are good hosts. We pride ourselves on being good hosts and when we have good tourist dollars coming in that helps us do things within the city for our residents that we want to do,” said Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.
“This will take Savannah which is one of the top tourist destinations if not the top in the country - it’ll open up a new niche group for them...the hockey fans,” said Ohrablo.
The mayor says for those who doubted anyone that people would come out to a hockey game in Savannah -
“You tell all those people out there and all those people who bought tickets that it doesn’t work. We’re teaching young children how to skate.”
As far as the Ghost Pirates, they’ve been selling out many of their games and the team’s president says they plan to keep doing it.
“We’re here to stay. We’re here forever. And we want our footprint to be known and the biggest prize that I have is the night we see a savannah kid skate out there for the ghost pirates on his way to the national hockey league,” said Ohrablo.
A night of big announcements - WTOC also got a preview of something else they plan to announce soon - street hockey!
The Ghost Pirate’s president says they’re working to start teams and clinics so they can bring street hockey to every neighborhood in the city.
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