Privateers Pleased With First Season In Watertown

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Bleachers have been rolled back at the Watertown Fairgrounds Arena.

The ice there belongs mostly to skaters now.

That's because the arena's other tenants, the 1000 Islands Privateers, had its season end in the playoffs earlier this month.

Still, officials say 2012-13 was a winner.

"We had great crowds, especially on weekends and it was an awesome opportunity to give the residents of the city of Watertown something to do," said Watertown Parks and Recreation Superintendent Erin Gardner.

It was something new to do after the team moved from Alexandria Bay to Watertown this past fall.

It was a big change for the team and city.

"The opportunity to develop a lot of new fans and new corporate partners as well. So it was very positive in that sense," said team owner Nicole Kirnan. 

"There was a lot of logistical issues, but everything came together and the team and the staff worked together and I think, from what I can see, the fans had a great time all year," said city Mayor Jeff Graham. 

It was a little shorter than expected, but by all accounts the season was a success. 

Now the question becomes: what about next year? 

Will the Privateers continue to call the ice rink in Waterotwn home? 

A deal is in place but needs some tinkering.

"They're set to come in next year. We're just kind of holding off on the whole alcohol portion of it," said Gardner. 

The Privateers would also like the city to commit to certain arena upgrades for heating, locker rooms and seating.

"Hopefully in the next several years we'll have a facility that's better not only for us, but for all the other user groups," said Kirnan.

Keeping everyone happy and, when they're rolled back out, bleachers full. 

Friday, December 19, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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