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Panthers Say 'Thank You' To Fans

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Fan Appreciation Weekend Concludes: “Shirts Off Our Backs” raises over $35K
Cats finish home season with 23 wins and big crowds at the BAC
First Cats Cookout set for April 26

SUNRISE, Fla. – Last night the Florida Panthers played their final home game of the 2006-07 regular season in front of a packed house of 17,878 guests, and thanked their fans for making the BankAtlantic Center one of the best home ice advantages in the National Hockey League.

“Clearly, our fans are what make Panthers hockey at the BankAtlantic Center special,” SSE chief operating officer Michael Yormark said. “They provide the atmosphere and the emotion that make the BAC a great place to watch a game, and they deserve the thanks and gratitude of our entire organization.” 

Last night’s game capped off a season that included 23 home wins and an average attendance of nearly 16,000 fans at the BankAtlantic Center. In addition, the game was part of the Panthers’ Fan Appreciation Weekend, which was highlighted by the Panthers Foundation’s “Shirts Off Our Backs” auction. All told, ’06-’07 marked another exciting year of great hockey and phenomenal fan experiences at the BankAtlantic Center.

“There’s no doubt we have some of the best fans in the entire NHL,” Cats Captain Olli Jokinen said. “Their support gives us an emotional lift every time we step on the ice at home and we can’t wait to see them back next season.”

The Panthers Foundation’s annual “Shirts Off Our Backs” auction raised over $35,000 for charity during last night’s game. Fans had the opportunity to participate in the silent auction to bid on game worn jerseys from their favorite Panthers players during the first two periods of play. Then the auction winners were escorted on to the ice after the conclusion of the game where each player took the jersey off his back, autographed it and presented it to the winning fan. Goalie Ed Belfour’s jersey auctioned for $5,000, while Captain Olli Jokinen’s went for $2,900.

In addition, the Panthers organization and many of its marketing partners gave out prizes to fans all weekend long including: gift baskets, golf packages, gift certificates, t-shirts, I-pods, jewelry, roundtrip airfare and more.

Fan Appreciation Weekend was part of the Panthers All Access Program, which has put Cats players face-to-face with fans all season long.

The Panthers did their best to thank their fans for making the 2006-07 season a successful one. Thanks in large part to big, emotional crowds at the BankAtlantic Center, the Cats were 23-12-6 at home this season, which ranks 4th all-time in franchise history, including 3-0-1 in their final four regular season home games.

Meanwhile, South Florida hockey fans turned out in force to support their Cats down the stretch, averaging 16,352 fans per game since March 1, including five crowds of over 17,000.

After last night’s 4-3 OT loss to Carolina, the Cats finish the regular season with three road games starting Tuesday at Washington and continuing Friday at Tampa Bay and Saturday at Carolina. FSN Florida will broadcast the final game of the season on Saturday against the Hurricanes. Both the Washington and Tampa games will be broadcast live on 1360AM WKAT, while the Carolina game can be heard on 940AM WINZ and ESPN Radio 760AM.

The Fans next chance to catch the Panthers will be on April 26 when future Hall of Famer Joe Nieuwendyk and other team personalities will be at the BankAtlantic Center for the first Cats Cookout of the summer. For more information or to RSVP fans can call 954-835-PUCK.

For up to date news and features about the Panthers, please visit

Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is the premier company of its kind in South Florida. Home to more than 185 events annually and the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, the BankAtlantic Center is consistently a top 15 worldwide venue according to Pollstar. The BankAtlantic Center welcomes more than two million guests each year and is also the home of the Sinatra Theatre presented by BankAtlantic and three monthly South Florida publications: Live On Stage Credentials, Unrestricted and Panthers Insider.
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