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5 MILLIONTH FAN TO PASS THROUGH TURNSTILES ON SATURDAY

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins will welcome the 5 millionth fan in franchise history this Saturday, March 17, when they host the Hamilton Bulldogs in a 7 p.m. start at Van Andel Arena.

The Griffins have drawn 4,990,526 fans for their 636 regular season home games over the last 16 seasons, leaving them 9,474 shy of the milestone heading into Friday’s contest versus the Toronto Marlies – a game that is expected to draw around 8,000 fans. On Saturday, the lucky fan will pass through the turnstiles soon after the gates open at 6 p.m. for the game against Hamilton.

The 5 millionth fan will be greeted at the turnstiles in the arena’s main lobby by Griff and Tim Gortsema, the Griffins’ senior vice president of business operations. He or she will then be honored with a presentation in the Zamboni tunnel during the 10-minute timeout of the second period and will receive a prize package including:

•    A Griffins jersey with the numeral 5 and the winner’s choice of nameplate;
•    Five lower bowl tickets to every Griffins home game during the ensuing 5 million seconds (58 days);
•    Enough Marathon gas cards to travel 5 million feet, courtesy of J&H Family Stores ($150);
•    5 million microliters of Pepsi (5 liters);
•    5 million micrometers of hot dogs (32 packaged dogs);
•    5 million milligrams of Van Andel Arena popcorn (11 pounds);
•    Five entrees from Qdoba;
•    Five days of recognition on the griffinshockey.com splash page; and
•    A 5 million microsecond (five second) standing ovation from Griffins fans during the presentation.

The Griffins currently stand sixth in the 30-team American Hockey League with an average attendance of 7,119, an increase of 6.2 percent over their first 31 home contests of 2010-11 (6,703). The team’s total attendance of 220,674 is its highest at this point of the season in its 11 seasons of AHL membership and puts the Griffins on pace to record their fifth attendance increase (by average) in the last six years.

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