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Metro Council honors Zydeco as hockey team prepares to announce plan for 2024-25 season

1 month 1 week 4 days ago Wednesday, April 17 2024 Apr 17, 2024 April 17, 2024 5:10 PM April 17, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — The Metro Council on Wednesday honored members of the Baton Rouge Zydeco, who in their first season set an attendance record for the Federal Prospects Hockey League. The ceremony came one day before a Zydeco news conference to announce its plan for 2024-25.

City-parish government said it didn't know what the team will announce. It already has a lease in place: the city and Zydeco agreed to a three-year deal last April.

Metro Councilman Darryl Hurst said the team contributed to an $18.1 million expansion of the local economy.

"They have superseded the attendance for the entire league," Hurst said. The Zydeco averaged 3,958 fans per game, or two more than a team at Binghamton, New York. The previous league record was set by Binghamton last year, at 3,507.

"I want to thank everybody here for honoring us, the Zydeco, and what we did," team owner Barry Soskin said. "We're terribly excited and happy with what we did. The attendance was not only brought by the fans but the business community really helped in getting us to where we needed to be."

Jill Kidder, the president and chief executive officer of the Visit Baton Rouge tourism bureau, said fans from Alabama, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mexico, New Jersey and Ontario passed through the River Center turnstiles to watch the team.

The Zydeco won six of its final eight games but still missed the league playoffs.

"At the end of the season, we obviously learned how to win the games and next year our mindset is going to be how to win a championship," said Edgars Ozolinich, a defenseman from Riva, Latvia. "Let's bring that cup next year."

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