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Armor gets ready for second season

Date: 7/13/2010

July 14, 2010

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD -- The Springfield Armor is preparing for its second season of professional basketball in the Pioneer Valley and General Manager Alex Schwerin told Reminder Publications the emphasis will be improving attendance and making the games even more entertaining.

"The name of the game is affordable family fun," he said.

Schwerin said the average attendance at an Armor game was 2,700 at the MassMutual Center during its initial season.

The Armor is part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) D-League -- it's farm system -- and Armor management announced July 6 it would continue to be affiliated with three NBA teams: The New Jersey Nets, the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers.

"Not only do we already have a working relationship with our affiliates," Schwerin said, "But now we have the opportunity to be assigned some very valuable players from three different NBA teams."

Although the Armor will continue with former Celtic Dee Brown as its head coach, Schwerin said having new coaches at the NBA teams, such as Doug Collins at Philadelphia, will add a new element to the Armor.

"The relationship with the new coaches certainly is important with what we're doing here," he said.

He explained those coaches will be sending people to the Armor as well as calling players from the team.

"We are excited about all the improvements our affiliates are making this year," Schwerin said, "hopefully these potential additions will not only make a positive impact on those teams directly, but also on the Armor."

Schwerin's background is in minor league baseball and he said he understands that not only does the Armor have to deliver "high level basketball," but also offer a family entertainment experience that will appeal to people who may not consider themselves basketball fans.

Staying affordable to families is also a priority and Schwerin noted the average ticket is less than $10 and as inexpensive as $5.

The team is now renewing its season tickets as well as selling group tickets for specific games, Schwerin said, which start as low as $91.

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