For the Rockford IceHogs, the theme for the 2017-18 season isn’t just a slick marketing campaign. “Our Town, Our Team” reflects the strong relationship between the team and the city.

Since their debut, the IceHogs have had a special relationship with Rockford. IceHogs Director of Business Operations Mike Peck stated, “Since the team’s inception in 1999, the IceHogs have focused on being ingrained in the community.”

That feeling goes both ways, too. Mayor Tom McNamara said, “The IceHogs have been an integral part of our community for nearly 20 years. The team is a critical part of our downtown development and the ‘Our Town, Our Team’ theme perfectly captures its impact on our city.”

The plans for the season include special promotional materials, new fan in-game experiences, more player appearances in the area and other fun activities. Interaction with the fans and the Rockford community is the main focus.

The IceHogs are a huge part of the revitalization of the downtown Rockford area. The new 6:00 pm start times for Saturday home games will allow fans more time to enjoy the nearby nightlife. That is the perfect example of the IceHogs commitment to the fans and the community.

The IceHogs have a unique situation in Rockford. Rockford is an easy 75 minute drive from Chicago. You’d think that proximity would encourage Rockford residents to make the trek to see the Chicago Blackhawks. Instead, many Chicagoans make the trip to Rockford to see the IceHogs. Usually it is the big city, including the smaller burb as part of its’ area. In this case, it’s Rockford pulling Chicago area folks into their metro area.

This is exactly how I started following and then covering the team. It’s almost as easy to get to Rockford as it is to get to the United Center. It certainly is less expensive (allowing me to spend my money on some great meals after the games). Plus, as I continue to say, “The IceHogs of today are the Blackhawks of tomorrow.”

John Wroblewski

John Wroblewski is a freelance writer, who covers the Rockford IceHogs and writes general interest pieces for Puck Planet. His writing career really started over twenty years ago, as a guest columnist for a Chicagoland community newspaper group. John has written several articles for Global Traveler magazine, along with being a regular online contributor. In 2008, he started Johngy’s Beat, a site focused on meeting celebrities, athletes and pop culture icons. His Johngy’s Beat YouTube channel has over 800 interviews. Currently, John regularly covers the IceHogs, the Chicago Bandits (National Pro Fastpitch), the Chicago Bliss (Legends Football League), Resistance Pro Wrestling and many comic cons around the country.

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