Roadrunners 'Fan Fest' welcomes young, old hockey enthusiasts

Roadrunners 'Fan Fest' welcomes young, old hockey enthusiasts

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - It was Tucson's chance to say 'meep meep' and welcome back the Roadrunners.

The American Hockey League team will take the ice in less than a month, and Sunday's Fan Fest was a chance for young fans to experience the process of getting ready for Opening Night.

"They're painting and then when they're done painting they put ice on top of it," said Dylan Grondin with excitement, as he was sitting in the first row at the Tucson Convention Center with his dad.

"I was born in Michigan and played a lot of hockey there. I don't play much hockey anymore. But it's kind of nice just letting them experience some of the stuff I enjoyed as a kid," said his father, Chuck Grondin.

Admission was free at Fan Fest and included an Arts & Crafts table, a Garage Sale to purchase discounted merchandise and autographed items, a Social Media zone where Dusty will be available for photos, and a Puck Shot Inflatable where fans can put their skills to the test, according to the Roadrunners Facebook page.

Kids played various games down by the ice.

Up in the last row, there was true excitement for the hockey loyalists, like Ned Beman.

"I've been excited since the '60s. Hockey season comes up every year," he said.

It was a chance for Beman to make sure the two seats he bought, when he moved to Tucson last year, were still his.

"Oh, we came right down here and got our season tickets," Beman said. "You have to embrace the team. In the minor leagues, you can't really get attached to a player, because the players go up and down all the time. They aren't stable like they are in the NHL. You've really got to embrace the team and enjoy watching the team play instead of watching an individual player."

The Tucson Roadrunners drop the puck October 7 at Opening Night against the San Diego Gulls. You can buy tickets here.

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