Baton Rouge’s new pro hockey team unveils its mascot; season starts in October

Baton Rouge's new pro hockey team unveils its mascot; season starts in October
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Baton Rouge’s professional hockey team will be the Zydeco, officials announced in a press conference to unveil the name and logo Thursday.

The logo for the Baton Rouge Zydeco features the Interstate 10 Mississippi River Bridge over the team’s name in navy blue lettering, underlined by a red hockey stick that pays homage to the city’s nickname, officials said. 

“By choosing the name Zydeco, we are honoring the rich history and traditions that have shaped Louisiana’s community,” team owner Barry Soskin said. “We believe in creating a sports team that not only excels on the ice but also reflects the unique culture and spirit of Baton Rouge.”

Zydeco music combines elements of blues, rhythm and blues, and Creole music dating back to the early 20th Century in Louisiana. 

Zydeco was chosen from 8,854 submissions the team received for its two-week naming contest, according to Soskin. 

“We received an overwhelming number of applicants for different names — some of them might be inappropriate,” said Soskin, who lives in Chicago. “But some of the names were really interesting, and they’re interesting to me because I didn’t know what they were.”

While Zydeco music isn’t exclusive to Baton Rouge, Raising Cane’s River Center General Manager Wayne Hodes said the three exhibition hockey games held in the city over the winter illustrate the draw the team will have statewide as Louisiana’s only professional hockey team. 

“While it’s going to hopefully raise the quality of life here locally, it will be an event on weekends,” Hodes said. “If we can get visitors coming into town, staying at our hotels, spending their discretionary monies at the restaurants, I think that’s a win-win for everybody.”

The team previously announced that it will play its first game on Oct. 26. It will be the first of 28 home games that will be played throughout the season, which ends on April 13.

Soskin also announced that season tickets are on sale starting Thursday. Season tickets are starting at $336 for the full regular season of 28 home games, according to a news release. 

The Zydeco’s first game is part of a three-game series on consecutive nights during LSU football’s bye week. 

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said excitement is building in the city for the team’s inaugural season. 

“I believe the impact of the Baton Rouge Zydeco team on our community cannot be overstated,” Broome said. “It will be a symbol of unity and pride, bringing people of all walks of life together and fostering camaraderie.”

The games will be played at the River Center downtown, part of an ongoing push to bring more and bigger events to the venue. 

Thursday’s press conference was held in the River Center, where a $440,000 center-hanging scoreboard purchased for the hockey games was being tested in the center of the arena. The Metro Council also last month approved the use of a $4.3 million federal grant for further upgrades to the arena, including $2.3 million seats that will allow for rink side seating by the beginning of the 2024 season, Hodes said. 

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About Marc Lemoine 1340 Articles
Marc is an Economist and a well experienced weightlifter who has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on sports, finance and economy.

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