MOLINE, Ill – Last Friday, the Quad City Storm’s inaugural schedule was released, allowing fans plenty of time to plan road trips for the season. A new team and new league means new opponents for the Quad City faithful to grow used to, and new rivalries can develop quickly.
On the same day, it was announced that the Storm and Peoria Rivermen have an agreement concerning full season ticket holder benefits. Quad City or Peoria fans who buy a full season ticket for their respective team will be able to attend away games against the other team for a discounted rate. In Peoria, the $19 premium tickets will be discounted to $15. For visiting Peoria fans, tickets in section 114 behind the visitors’ bench will be reduced in price to $15 as well.
The Storm will begin their SPHL run at home, their season and home opener occurring on October 20th against Peoria. The two teams will face each other a total of 16 times in the regular season, evenly splitting the games between Carver Arena and the TaxSlayer Center.
It, of course, makes sense for the two teams to face each other so often in the season, as only 90 miles separate the two teams along I-74. It’s a benefit to each of the organizations to be in such close proximity, as it allows the season ticket exchange program, and allows for a rivalry to be established early on.
Another close rival for the Storm will be the Evansville Thunderbolts. The Thunderbolts are only 362 miles away from Moline, making for a six-hour drive. While certainly not as easy as the drive between Moline and Peoria, it’s still feasible for leaving early in the morning and arriving in time for the game. The northern-Illinois based team will have to make that drive several times, as there will be six games in Evansville and just as many in Moline. However, not all six of those games in Indiana will require the six-hour drive, as there is a back-to-back weekend in Evansville and a drive from Knoxville to Evansville overnight on a different weekend.
Half of the Storm’s first season will be played against the same two teams, with the other 28 games being played against the other six teams in the SPHL. Aside from Peoria and Evansville, the Storm will see the Knoxville IceBears the most. Those two times will meet a total of seven times, with the defending President’s Cup champion, Huntsville Havoc, being next with six games. The Birmingham Bulls will see the Storm a total of five times, though only one matchup will be in Alabama. All three of the contests against the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs will be in Illinois, while the Pensacola Ice Flyers will appear at the TaxSlayer Center only once. The Mayhem from Macon, Georgia will come to Moline for the only game between the teams this season.
The longest road trip the Storm will take to a game this season will be to see the Fayetteville Marksmen from March 15 to March 17, with the total traveling time clocking in at 14 hours and 38 minutes. Fayettville is the farthest east team, while Quad City is the most western team in the SPHL, with 951 miles separating the two teams. However, the Storm will have to travel back from Pensacola after back-to-back games in Florida on November 16 and 17. Before heading to Florida, though, the team will make a stop in Birmingham the night before to face the Bulls. The Pensacola to Moline trip is actually 30 miles longer than to Fayettville, but is currently 11 minutes shorter due to less construction along the route.
The Storm will begin and end their season against either Peoria or Evansville, opening night being against Peoria and the last regular season game being against Evansville. Quad City fans will have the chance to see all the SPHL teams but one, as Fayetteville will not make it to Moline this season.
Be sure to follow @SinBinStorm on Twitter for the latest news on the SPHL’s newest franchise!