Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to about 100 of SSE’s most loyal and dedicated partners during a lunch event at Timpano Chophouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
I gave a presentation about all the exciting initiatives that our company is focused on including the Florida Panthers, world-class entertainment content at the BB&T Center, a series of boxing events beginning with our WBA event on Nov. 30, the upcoming MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, promoting the AHL San Antonio Rampage and more.
In addition to the formal presentation, we also took questions and hosted an open dialogue to talk about where we are at as an organization, and where we are going. It is always challenging in this type of setting to find a consensus, to have a common thread that stretched throughout a diverse group of people. But the one thing that really stood out for me was the universal love and affinity for the Florida Panthers.
Following last year’s incredible Southeast Division Championship and return to the playoffs, many of us here with SSE felt like a light-switched had turned on. We felt that in only a few short months, fans, partners, media and the entire South Florida community had fallen in love with hockey again.
Even though we are not playing hockey right now, that feeling continued to prevail at our event in Fort Lauderdale. People wanted to talk about this exciting team that has been built and led by GM Dale Tallon, Assistant GM Mike Santos, and head coach Kevin Dineen. People wanted to know when a new CBA would be agreed upon and we would be back on the ice.
As I’ve said consistently, we remain optimistic a new agreement will get done soon, and obviously we, like all hockey fans, are following these latest negotiations closely. And I have to give an incredible amount of credit to our staff that continues to work hard and turn these challenges in to opportunities. But the most exciting thing for me is that there remains a palpable thirst and anticipation for Panthers hockey.
We saw the same thing last night during our first sold out Florida Panthers Broadcast School, when our broadcasters such as Randy Moller, Steve Goldstein and Bill Lindsay hosted 30 children at the BB&T Center. It was clear, that the passion for this franchise runs deep and continues to grow.
I ended my day yesterday with a meeting for the American Heart Association where I am honored to sit on the Executive Cabinet for the Broward Heart Ball. While we talked about our fundraising goals and objectives, I browsed through a flyer on the AHA’s National “Wear Red” day. It immediately brought me back to last April, and the four sold out “red days” we had during our seven-game playoff series against the New Jersey Devils.
The passion and the intensity of those games is still fresh in my mind, and in a lot of ways it motivates myself and our staff. What is clear after yesterday, is those feelings are still fresh in the minds of our fans, our partners and all of our supporters. And that is a great thing for this franchise.
Thanks for reading and go Panthers.
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