The Portland Pirates started selling tickets Tuesday morning for their six games at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.
The Pirates are scheduled to play two games in October, one game in November, two in December and one in February at the 3,677-seat arena.
The Pirates will start the 2012-13 season at the Colisee while phase-one renovation work is done on the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The $28 million renovation is expected to start after the American Idol Live! show on Aug. 25.
“We’re hoping to open in Portland on Nov. 2,” Pirates CEO/managing owner Brian Petrovek said.
“The building as of Nov. 2 is available at various times as it normally is.”
According to Civic Center General Manager Steve Crane, the building will be available for the Pirates by Nov. 1, “barring any unforeseen, unpredictable circumstances.”
Only the Pirates’ first two home games had to be moved because of the renovation, but Petrovek said it made financial sense to schedule more than two games in Lewiston.
“We needed to find a place to play in October anyway, and we needed to find a better way to drive up revenues and allocate costs by having more than two games in Lewiston,” he said.
About five years ago, the AHL began providing six guaranteed home dates so teams could get a jump on marketing in the summer. Portland used those six dates for the Lewiston games.
“We thought the best way to go this time around, with getting our six guaranteed dates, was to get all of our Lewiston dates as a package and be able to go into the market and actually open the box office with group (sales) and six packs and drive that inventory up in a much more aggressive way,” Petrovek said.
Opponents have not been determined for those dates.
“When we get the first draft of the schedule, those six games in Lewiston will have opponents pencilled in and then the jockeying process will go on for a two or three-week period with the league and with the teams,” Petrovek said.
The AHL will send a first-draft schedule in about a month. The final schedule will be issued in early August.
The Pirates played two games at Lewiston during the 2008-09 season and two more during the 2009-10 season, posting a 3-0-1 record.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org