GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - It was a full house at Van Andel Arena Friday night as the Grand Rapids Griffins began their defense of their Calder Cup Championship title.
Griffins representatives say the AHL championship win is raising more than moral -- it's raising revenue.
Friday, the championship banner was hoisted to the rafters. The game -- the first of the season -- sold out. That's no surprise -- the first game almost always does. But it was unusual how quickly it sold out.
==Photos: Calder Cup champs back on the ice==
Tim Gurtsema, the vice president of business operations for the Griffins, says this year's sellout was the fastest he has seen in the last 10 years.
"Often times with us playing on a Friday night, it will sell out the night of the game," he said. "This year, it basically sold out Monday."
The organization had expected an improvement after the championship win.
"I'd say it's met and exceeded our expectations," Gurtsema said.
Griffins data shows overall sales for season tickets are up, raking in $215,000 more than they did the time last year.
Corporate sponsors are up as well, already topping last year's numbers -- and they are still expecting more.
"We know that we've going to have and uptick in sponsorships as well," Gurtsema said.
Gurtsma says the Calder Cup win builds city pride and that the Griffins selling out boosts downtown business.
"I think it will be a great year," Gurtsema said.
Tickets for the other 37 home games are on sale now.
Buy Grand Rapids Griffins tickets
On Saturday, the Michigan State Spartans will be taking on the Ohio State Buckeyes for the Big Ten College Football title. On Friday, fans began gathering in Indianapolis for the big game.
Two Kalamazoo men are in jail after Kalamazoo officers found them with money stolen from Sunny Mart Friday afternoon.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.