A Look at Some Louisiana Icegators Jerseys Through the Years
Who DOESN'T miss the heyday of the Louisiana Icegators?
When most people heard that ice hockey was coming to South Louisiana, they scratched their collective heads and said, "Noh, mais hey! How dey gonna freeze dat?"
Well, those who stood in disbelief of ice hockey coming to Louisiana also stood in disbelief when many of the early seasons broke attendance records!
For the first few years of Icegator Hockey, a seat in the Cajundome was the hottest ticket in town.
The Louisiana Icegators Wikipedia page outlines the attendance records set by the team:
The team holds the top four regular-season average attendance numbers in ECHL history: 11,433 in 1996-97, 11,196 in 1997-98, 9,857 in 1998-99 and 9,776 in 1995-96. The IceGators also hosted the eighth-largest and nine of the 10 largest postseason crowds in ECHL history, including four capacity crowds of 11,800 in 1997. - Wikipedia
To this day, the Louisiana Icegators still hold attendance records, all set in the Cajundome.
Even after the novelty of ice hockey in Louisiana died down, there were a few good years of die-hard Louisiana Icegator fans who continued to support the team, some even going as far as traveling to almost every away game to cheer them on.
Even with the crowds and the fun and the games and the food (have you ever caught a hot dog that was sling-shot into the crowd? Fun times!), the Louisiana Icegators were never able to realize an ECHL Championship. They did, though, make it to post-season play several times, and competed in the finals in two seasons (losing to South Caroline in the 96-97 season, and Peoria in the 1999-2000 season).
The Icegators were a media sensation, appearing on national television and becoming the darlings of many a national sports program.
Locally, the players were superstars. Fans would flock to see them at public appearances and lines would form hours ahead of official "doors", hoping to be in the arena in time for an autograph or picture prior to the puck drop.
After a few years and a few lackluster seasons, ownership of the team changed, attendance began to drop and the team was on the hunt for a new venue. By that point, the magic seemed to be gone and the team just couldn't recover.
I, for one, am grateful for the 9 years I was able to be the on-ice and arena host. I made some life-long friends at the games and, I must admit, having my name and image included in the programs and on the "big screen" didn't hurt my career.
I am also grateful to the team for including me on some of the specialty jerseys that were produced during my time with the team.
Though I didn't receive all of them, I was able to snag a few for my trophy room!
These jerseys, IIRC, were from the years 1998 through 2002. Let's take a step back in time when the Cajundome was the Frozen Swamp and the Louisiana Icegators were all the rage.
Some Louisiana Icegators Jerseys Through the Years
Top 10 NFL Players in Merchandise Sales