Hit the Lynx this autumn

That roar coming from the James Brown Arena on game night is more than a certain team of big cats on the hunt. It’s their legion of fans shouting their approval.

After 10 years of working through this experiment — asking whether a winter sport would catch on in the South — Augusta has answered “yes” in a way that can be heard after every goal, body check and puck pass.

“Every seat has a great view of the action,” said Alex Kyrias, director of broadcasting and public relations for the Lynx.

And action there is. Speed and timing are the crucial elements of this game. It’s not a pastime for the weak-at-heart. For the 10th anniversary, the team plans some special promotional nights. Opening weekend is Oct. 19 and 21, and children will have an especially grand time. But they’ll also collect canned food to benefit It’s Spooky To Be Hungry.

The year’s most touching promotion comes on Dec. 8, when thousands of fans who spend half the game screaming for blood will take part in the Teddy Bear Toss.

“When the guys score the first goal of the game, people bring teddy bears and throw them onto the ice,” explained Cari Weaver, director of community relations. Team members donate them to the local children’s hospitals. Last year, they collected more than 350 bears for sick children.

Finally, the second annual New Year’s Eve after-game party at the James Brown Arena is the area’s coolest event.

“We have a New Year’s party in the Lynx Den with party favors and food and the bars are open. Last year had a band and an Elvis impersonator,” Weaver laughed. But there’s a catch: “You can’t get in if you don’t come to the game.”

The season begins Oct. 19 and continues until April 5. Call 706-724-4423 or visit augustalynx.com.

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