The AHL Springfield Thunderbirds will become the Springfield Ice-O-Topes for one game in February.
Springfield is honoring the 30th anniversary of The Simpsons, one of the most popular shows in television history.
The team announced the news in a tweet on December 17, the same date as the The Simpsons’ first episode, “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire”, aired in 1989.
The Thunderbirds will be rebranded as the Ice-O-Topes for one week, from January 25 through February 1, and wear Simpsons’ inspired jerseys on their February 1 matchup against the Hartford Wolf Pack for “What If?” night.
What if your favorite hometown hockey team was called the Springfield Ice-O-Topes? What if, on February 1st, the T-Birds become the Springfield Ice-O-Topes for one day only? Happy 30th Anniversary #TheSimpsons To learn more and purchase tickets 🎟️>> https://t.co/ybchXe1cbi pic.twitter.com/99ldbQwTCm
— Springfield T-Birds (@ThunderbirdsAHL) December 17, 2019
The jerseys include a crest featuring an Ice-O-Topes logo, a “Boomer” shoulder patch which is the Thunderbirds logo Simpsonized, and donut sprinkles and nuclear reactor patterned stripes.
Photos: Springfield Thunderbirds
The Thunderbirds promise that “[n]ot only will the team wear the pictured specialty jerseys, but all components of the organizational operation will adopt the Ice-O-Topes brand for the duration of the week.”
The Thunderbirds also opted to go with the new name because “Isotopes” was one of the finalists for the AHL team’s nickname back in June 2016.
According to an NHL.com story, Al Jean, writer and executive producer of the show, was supportive of the promotion while also revealing the show takes place in Massachusetts.
“It’s really cool,” Jean told Pat Pickens of NHL.com. “Now we finally know where Springfield is.”
The jerseys are available for preorder on the Thunderbirds website if fans would like to have one of the sweaters themselves. The turnaround time is expected to be eight weeks.
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