Rapid City Rush go virtual to bring games to fans
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The ECHL hockey season was cut short this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
So the Rapid City Rush organization has found a new way to keep their fans engaged.
The Rush have gone virtual.
Rapid City Rush fans and sports fans in general, might be feeling a little lost these days since the sports world has come to a screeching halt.
So the Rush recently hosted the first of what could be a series of virtual games using PlayStation and Twitch, a live video streaming service.
“We got with the Kansas City Mavericks because they were the only team on our home schedule that we didn’t get to play,” Rapid City Rush Director of Communications Mark Binetti said. “We said will you guys play along with this if we start promoting that we’re going to have a game day? They said ‘absolutely’. ‘We’ll jump on the bandwagon and help you guys out’.”
The Rush defeated the Mavericks by a score of 5-1 thanks to two goals by Brett Beauvais.
“Nobody played it,” Binetti said. “We went computer versus computer. Full on simulation. So we let the computers duke it out. So there was a 50-50 coin flip whether we really won or loss. Luckily for us we won. So that was nice.”
The Rush were trying to make the game seem as realistic as possible.
Mark Binetti, the voice of the Rapid City Rush, actually provided the play-by-play.
“It took us about an hour, hour and ten minutes and we got a full game in,” Binetti said. “It was fun. Played the goal song. We streamed that through on the stream through all the audio setup that I had. So it was a lot of fun to pull it off.”
Over 100 fans tuned in to watch the game from the comfort of their own homes.
In fact, it was such a success, talks are already underway for another virtual game against the Maine Mariners.