MK LIGHTNING general manager Vito Rausa is encouraging fans to ‘bring a buddy’ to the team’s big home game against English Premier League title rivals Manchester Phoenix this Saturday night.
Going into the second half of the season, Lightning have just about met expectations, but the city side still have their sights set on third paced Phoenix and a potential title challenge going into 2013.
Nick Poole’s men take on the north west side twice over the weekend – visiting Altrincham on Sunday – and Rausa wants to make sure they go there with a victory under their belts, with the supporters playing their part.
Lightning thumped Phoenix 8-2 at Planet Ice on the opening night of the season, but after losing their three meetings since then, Rausa is promising an action packed evening. For entertainment, he thinks ice hockey is the best choice on offer for a Saturday night.
“We’ve always said that we’ll sell you a seat, but you’ll only use the edge of it – and our last two home games have been perfect examples of that”, said Rausa, who has watched Lightning win their last three home games, most recently against league leaders Basingstoke Bison.
“MK Lightning is the English Premier League’s most successful team, with seven trophies in just 10 years since our formation – as well as a current Team GB senior player in our roster, and several former Team GB junior players.
“We have competition for supporters and local newspaper column inches from a local Football League team and a Formula One team – but if you come to watch the Lightning, you can get closer to the players than in either of those two sports.
“You can stand at the plexiglass during the game and see the whites of the players’ eyes as they take a face-off, then talk to them in the bar after a game – there aren’t many top level sports teams where you can say that!
“We’re calling this our ‘Bring A Buddy’ game, and when we did this last season the result was an amazing atmosphere – the players said the noise supporters made as they stepped onto the ice was spine-tingling, and we had fans standing two or three deep, right around the plexiglass.
“It’d be wonderful to have that again and introduce a whole new group of supporters to the sport. What better way to spend a Saturday evening than watching the fastest team sport in the world, right here on your doorstep?”
Saturday night’s game against Manchester Phoenix starts at 7pm, with doors open at 6pm.