GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Basketball is back as the Grand Rapids Gold holds its season opener on Sunday.

This is the second season the team is playing inside of Van Andel Arena and it is also the second season for the team’s head coach Andre Miller. Miller and the team had a rough season last year, going 9-23 and finishing at the bottom of the league. 

This season, they hope to improve and follow in their NBA affiliate Denver Nugget’s footsteps. The Nuggets won the 2023 NBA finals. The team welcomes new players and an all-new coaching staff. One of the main names on the new roster is Hunter Tyson, who played for the Nuggets last season. 

“I think (Tyson) will definitely help us a lot but I think we should definitely see an uptick in games won this year,” Brittney Whitefield, marketing and PR manager for the Grand Rapids Gold, said. “(Miller) is the only returning coach coming back this year so I think it’s going to be at the start kind of figuring out how each other works, who coaches what way, but so far all the coaches have been great.”

The team is also changing its schedule this year with more weekend games. Last season, they only had one Friday game and no games on Saturdays. Now more than half of their games fall on a weekend. 

“The energy in this arena on Friday and Saturday nights is pretty tough to mimic on a Monday. So, we’ve packed all of our promotional nights, theme nights, on those weekend dates, so we’re really trying to make the most of the Fridays and Saturdays that we got this year,” Whitefield said. “Second year in the arena, we’re trying to take everything up a notch, so the energy in this building we’re hoping to bring it up a notch too.”

The Gold is also creating new experiences for fans including promotional and theme nights and a new way for people to get on the big screen. All they need is their smartphone and they can take a video of themselves for a chance to be featured. On Nov. 18, the first 2,000 fans will receive a replica championship ring for the team’s Nuggets Night. 

The season opener started Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on the Grand Rapids Gold’s website