ROANOKE, Va. – With the uncertainty surrounding sports on the daily, Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs President, Mickey Gray, knows anything can change at the drop of a hat.
“We’re attempting to keep our heads on a swivel, roll with the new information we have, and do everything we can to prepare for a season that hopefully starts in mid to late December,” said Gray.
One of those changes has been the usual October start date for the Southern Professional Hockey League. Now, the SPHL is aiming to begin its season in mid to late December.
“It’s great that we’ve all been able to pick a start date that has allowed us to have as complete of a season as possible,” Gray said.
“Of course, we’d like to be playing hockey earlier rather then later but the fact we will be able to get a bunch of games in is something we’re looking forward to.”
And with the dedicated fanbase in Roanoke, the Rail Yard Dawgs have still seen revenue coming in.
“We’ve been selling a lot of jerseys, a lot of merchandise, that type of stuff in the summer. It’s nice to keep a little revenue stream going. The bottom line is, our season ticket holders and sponsors have once again taken care of us. It’s been really nice,” said Gray.
But the biggest money maker, of course, is fans in the stands. With current phase 3 government regulations, entertainment venues must adhere to social distancing guidelines and can only have 1,000 spectators.