The Fresno Monsters hockey team is returning to Selland Arena.
The club announced Tuesday at a news conference that it will be playing seven three-game home weekends at the arena between October 2018 and January 2019.
Monsters General Manager Jeff Blair made the announcement. He said season tickets are available right now. They range in price, according to the Monsters’ website, from $231 to $441, depending on seating selection. Generally, season tickets will go up in cost the closer to the ice fans want to be.
Blair said single-game tickets will go on sale beginning Sept. 10. The team website currently has no pricing information for single-game tickets. More information can be found on the team’s website: www.fresnomonsters.com.
He added each game will be an integrated experience for fans, with community groups participating. He said there will be themes for each game, including Agriculture Night, Raiders Blackout and Veterans’ Night.
Fresno mayor Lee Brand commented: “It’s a great day for hockey and the city of Fresno” that the Monsters are returning to downtown. He said he was skeptical at first about hockey returning to Selland Arena because of the history with the Fresno Falcons.
The Falcons played at Selland Arena for many years before moving to the Save Mart Center at Fresno State in 2003 when the team became a member of the East Coast Hockey League after the league absorbed the members of the West Coast Hockey League that year. During its time at Selland Arena, the Falcons were members of the Cal-Neva, Pacific Southwest, Sunshine and the West Coast hockey leagues.
The Falcons moved back to Selland Arena for the 2008-09 season, but ceased operations on Dec. 22, 2008, citing poor attendance, lack of corporate sponsorships and the Great Recession. The city had invested money in the arena to help the Falcons out, so the team’s collapse left a bad taste at City Hall.
Hockey returned to Fresno two years later when the Monsters were created.
Brand said he changed his mind when 12,000 fans turned out for a three-game series earlier this year. He said he’s glad hockey’s back downtown.