Firebirds creating jobs in local economy - WNEM TV 5

Firebirds creating jobs in local economy

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Steve Basinski loves his job. He's the director of game-day operations for the Flint Firebirds.

"It's amazing," Basinski said.

The Central Michigan graduate is from Grand Blanc and thrilled to work close to home. He’s glad he can put his sports management degree to good use thanks to the area's newest hockey team.

"It ended up working out for me but, you know, I don't really know what it would've been like if the Firebirds never came here," Basinski said.

Others came to the Dort Federal Event Center looking for work. Alissa Barrett is applying for a box office position.

"It's pretty sweet. I really like hockey so it would be nice to be able to be someplace where you can see games and stuff," Barrett said.

Barrett, who lives in Flint, is unemployed.

She said a job would mean: "A lot. I really need it right now."

The arrival of the hockey team isn't the only thing creating jobs. The renovation of this arena is taking shape, and that too, is putting more people to work.

Jeremy Torrey is general manager of the facility. He's pleased with the bright, new, modern look of the venue.

"It's an extremely exciting time here. You know we're creating jobs by bringing new people in to work for the team, work for the arena," Torrey said. "But in addition to that the contractors that are working here on all the improvements and upgrades."

Basinski said he knows the team a few miles up north on I-75, too. He interned with the Saginaw Spirit. But there's no question who he'll rooting for when the puck drops on Thursday night.

"The Spirit gave me the opportunity. They helped with the opportunity but the firebirds are the hometown team and that's where I'm at now," Basinski said.

Flint isn’t the only city with an economic kick-back from its sports team. Saginaw is feeling the love for the Spirit.

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