Utica, N.Y. –– The Utica Comets were honored on Thursday evening during the American Hockey League Awards Gala with the Eastern Conference Community Service Excellence Award for the 2018-19 season.
The event, which took place at the AHL’s annual meeting of the Board of Governors in Hilton Head, South Carolina, paid tribute to great on and off-ice accomplishments from the recently concluded season.
Sean Lavoine, VP of Licensing and Corporate Sales for the AHL, spoke highly of the Comets’ community engagement, noting the over 100 community appearances by Comets’ players throughout the season, the Purple Heart Recognition Night and over $300,000 in donations to the local community. This is the fifth AHL Team Business award the Comets have received since the inaugural season and second for exceptional community service. This includes the James C. Hendy Memorial Award, the Presidents Award, and an award for Exceptional Fan Experience.
Team President Robert Esche and Vice President Adam Pawlick accepted the award on behalf of the Comets organization.
“We’re so lucky to have a community that constantly displays unwavering support for our team and embraces our players the way they do,’ said Esche. “This award is a true honor and representation of our entire area’s passion for helping those in need.”
Additionally, the Springfield Thunderbirds (Eastern) and Manitoba Moose (Western) were honored for digital media excellence; the San Antonio Rampage (Western) also earned the nods for exceptional community relations efforts; and the Cleveland Monsters (Eastern) and Iowa Wild (Western) were recognized for outstanding fan experience at home game.
One club from each conference was recognized for top revenue growth in four areas during this past season: overall ticket sales, season-ticket sales, group-ticket sales and corporate sponsorship sales. The winners in both overall ticket sales revenue growth and season-ticket sales growth were the Toronto Marlies (Eastern) and the Bakersfield Condors (Western). The Laval Rocket (Eastern) and the San Jose Barracuda (Western) earned the awards for group-ticket sales growth, and the Belleville Senators (Eastern) and Ontario Reign (Western) were recognized for their corporate sponsorship sales growth.