T-birds get warm greetings in Auburn, other S. County cities

In terms of mileage, the Seattle Thunderbirds aren’t moving all that far from their current hockey homes in Seattle and Kirkland to their new one in Kent.

  • Monday, June 2, 2008 7:02pm
  • Sports

In terms of mileage, the Seattle Thunderbirds aren’t moving all that far from their current hockey homes in Seattle and Kirkland to their new one in Kent.

But as they begin to make that trek – they moved their offices from Kirkland to Kent this week; the team itself will leave KeyArena and take up residence in the still-being-built Kent Events Center no later than next January – Thunderbirds officials are finding certain things to be true:

This isn’t the same as Seattle. And they’re being welcomed enthusiastically.

“It’s a completely different market,” Sean Runnels, the team’s director of ticket sales, said after joining team owner/governor/general manager Russ Farwell in addressing the Auburn Rotary Club on Wednesday afternoon.

“We did some door-to-door stuff in Auburn, and we did get a very positive response,” Runnels said. “People were excited to see us coming in. They had questions, and people came around the corners to chat with us.”

The Western Hockey League franchise just completed its 31st season in Seattle and has been one of the stalwarts of the junior circuit that is the home to players ages 16-20 who are setting their sights on a pro career.

While not a lot of the T-birds’ season-ticket holders came from the South County area, they still have numerous fans around here who likely will be inclined to see even more hockey now that the team will be playing so nearby.

“A lot of our single-game ticket buyers were from this area. We’re excited about that,” Runnels said.

Farwell said the new facility will be a selling point, but only to an extent. Ultimately, whether fans are coming from the East Hill of Kent, the West Hill of Auburn, or somewhere in between, what happens on the ice will be the deciding factor.

“We know there’s a bit of a honeymoon with a new building. But that isn’t our focus,” Farwell said. “We’re coming here to be long-time residents.

“We’re going to be able to put a very good product in there.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

Former Seattle Sounders Lamar Neagle to coach Federal Way Football Club

Federal Way native looks forward to “giving back to the community that helped raise me.”

Doctor IDs safety measures for youth team sports practices

Before practice begins, parents must understand COVID-19 protective protocols

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

Stock photo
King County announces $600K in grants for youth sports

On July 27, King County announced the recipients of the 2020 Youth… Continue reading

The Todd Beamer Titans football team in Federal Way during a 2019 summer practice. File photo
WIAA modifies prep sports calendar; football moved to spring

Washington’s high school athletics governing body announced its revised plans for the… Continue reading

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

Betting surges at Emerald Downs even without fans in grandstands

Mobile, off-track wagering breaks $1 million on opening day

Emerald Downs changes opening day to June 24

Live racing to return at Auburn track but without fans

COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs announces revised 2020 stakes schedule

Racing starts June 22; first featured race Aug. 2

Emerald Downs to open for horse racing June 22

No fans initially at Auburn track; fans can wager from home

FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
T-Birds issue ticket refunds, exchanges for cancelled games in Kent

17,000 tickets sold for three March contests at ShoWare Center