It was a recent holiday weekend in which the Roadrunners drew nearly 11,000 fans to Tucson Arena, including 6,087 on a Saturday night, which was Tucsons largest home attendance since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When you look at some of the issues we had right after COVID-19, momentum was lost with people just not comfortable coming out, whether it was inflation or maybe a ticket to a sporting event not being a top priority,” said Roadrunners Team President Bob Hoffman.

That’s changed due in part to numerous promotions and heavy team engagement in the community. And, this year’s team has won 20 of its first 33 games.

“That’s a big art of it too,” added Hoffman. “Everyone is excited to see the energy on the ice to see how good the team is doing, and how well they are playing right now.”

On Wednesday, goaltender Matt Villalta and forward Dylan Guenther were named to the American Hockey League’s All-Star game. Next year’s game has been awarded to Coachella Valley, a newer franchise than Tucson. The Roadrunners are waiting for more hotel space to be available in downtown Tucson, and for an opportunity to work around the annual Gem Show.

“You have scouts, you have players, you have teams from the National Hockey League, Europe, and from all over the world that would be a great showcase for Tucson. But, from an infrastructure standpoint, you’ve got to be able to pull it off.”

What Hoffman wants for Tucson is continued success on the ice, something that partly depends on injuries and call-ups to the National Hockey League.

“The benefit that we have is that [head coach] Steve Potvin knows how to get the most out of his players. He’s done a great job on the nights we’ve been shorthanded, and I think that is going to continue. Hopefully, we’ll have a nice playoff run for Tucson and the team as well.”