The Quad-City Mallards are hoping to extend their season tonight.
No matter the outcome of Game 4, the Mallards will be back at the iWireless Center next year.
The Mallards and the iWireless Center announced a one-year lease extension Thursday, effective through 2018. Coming off their most successful on-ice campaign since 2006, the Mallards can now build on that success next season.
"The experience and commitment (owner Jordan Melville) and team president Bob McNamara bring to the Mallards have made a huge difference for the team both on and off the ice,” iWireless Center executive director Scott Mullen said. “Their expertise and professionalism mean that after this milestone season we can look forward to even more exciting times to come for hockey in the Quad Cities."
Attendance has improved under Melville and McNamara, as the Mallards have averaged just over 4,000 fans per game for the past four seasons. Though that number was down slightly this year, the organization feels comfortable extending the lease a year, with the hopes of a more long-term deal coming in the future.
The iWireless Center is currently looking for a new naming sponsor this summer.
"We made a lot of changing in pricing, building layout and other things so I wanted us to have a year under our belt," owner Jordan Melville said. "We've got a great lease, the building is great but we just did a year because who knows what the future holds?"
Melville's QCM Holdings took over the club in October of 2012, and as the organization has regained solid footing, Melville plans to be more involved with the franchise's continued growth.
"I'm in a place now where I feel responsible for this team more than I have in the past," Melville said. "Because I care about it and I want us to win, I want us to have that success and I have the time to do it."
While the on-ice product has continued to be successful, with playoff berths the past five seasons, there will be changes next year. Melville specifically mentioned the in-game experience as something that will be different. He understands tradition and wants to keep that, but also wants to take advantage of the changing times, especially with a new high-tech video board now in place.
"I'm hearing it from the fans, they're right, we need to spice up the in-game experience. It's a great experience 10 years ago but frankly, I had bigger fish to fry," he said. "It's gotten to the point where the on-ice product is pretty good, but we're not in the hockey business, we're in the entertainment business. (Head coach Phil Axtell) and Bob are in the hockey business, I'm in entertainment, I've got to make sure the seats are filled."