Did you hear the news about Putnam County getting its first professional hockey team? The new Brewster Bulldogs will join the Federal Hockey League, beginning their season on November 7 at the Brewster Ice Arena (63 Fields Ln, Brewster, NY 10509). After a dispute with the league caused another team to pull out, co-owners Bruce Bennett and Edward Crowe took over the Bulldogs as well as another Single A team in Danbury, and are quickly building the franchise from scratch.
Commercial sports bring sponsorship opportunities as well as the chance for vendors to do business with the new team, from food to apparel to transportation and more. The same is true for popular area attractions such as Thunder Ridge Ski Area or Fahnestock Park, which is why the feasibility study undertaken last year by the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce and its partners identified commercial recreation as one of the so-called industry clusters which could be cultivated to bring more business into the county and create jobs. “To the Brewster Bulldogs, I say welcome to Putnam County. Our county is celebrating The Year of the Family this year and this is a great addition to our family here in Putnam. It will boost economic development, create jobs, increase tourism in the county and heighten an already strong sense of community. We recognize the importance of affordable family entertainment, especially in these tough economic times and we applaud Bruce Bennett and his partner Ed Crowe for their confidence and investment in Putnam County. We look forward to working with them and Putnam County Tourism to make sure the Hudson Valley is in prime time again, having now minor league sports teams in baseball, basketball, football and now hockey to root for!” says Putnam County Executive Maryellen Odell. Clustering of industries is one of the best economic drivers, because it builds a critical mass of not only the main businesses but those who interact with them. In other parts of the state where manufacturing is king, these businesses are referred to as being part of the “supply chain.” It may be a bit less obvious, but the vendors who do business with Messrs. Bennett and Crowe will be part of their supply chain too, a vital economic ecosystem which is an indicator of good health in a business community.
Local Businesses such as Bull and Barrel Brew Pub and Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union are already signing up for sponsorship opportunities which will bring a whole new level of exposure to Putnam County businesses. More must be done to build industry clusters that have a lasting impact on Putnam County, but this latest development proves that we are indeed on the right track.
-Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce