By Dillon Thomas

DENVER (CBS4) – A Boulder native and longtime Colorado Avalanche arena host says the 2021-2022 season has helped grow the Avs family like never before. Nicole Hurdle, a fourth-generation jeweler from Boulder, has served as a game night emcee and host at Ball Arena for more than 10 years.

The former Denver Nuggets dancer was raised in Boulder and attended the University of Colorado. As her time as a dancer for the Nuggets wrapped up, a fellow dancer suggested that she apply to become the new host of the Avs.

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Every game night, after finishing work in Boulder, Hurdle heads to Ball Arena. At the games she makes announcements, hypes up the crowd and even interacts with those who have tickets as they play games for giveaways between periods and during timeouts.

After 10 years with the team, Hurdle has seen the crowds at Ball Arena evolve with the success of the team.

“We’ve taken it to a new level with this run,” Hurdle told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “I remember there were times where I was doing promotions and I couldn’t get the crowd to say, ‘Go Avs!’ Because, it was a rough time.”

However, in recent seasons, the Avs have seen significant progress and success on the ice. That success has directly correlated with growing crowds and a growing fan base.

“It is so incredible to have the fanbase we have right now,” Hurdle said.

Especially during the push for the 2022 Stanley Cup, crowds have grown louder and greater.

“They are loud. They are insane,” Hurdle said.

The energy isn’t limited to home games. Kroenke Sports and Entertainment has hosted free watch parties during the Stanley Cup Final at Tivoli Brewing in Denver and at McGregor Square. Other ticketed watch parties inside Ball Arena have been held with proceeds going to Kroenke Sports Charities.

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Hurdle has been at the watch parties and said the vibes in the building are similar to when the Avs are on the ice.

“The watch parties have been insane,” Hurdle said. “It feels like you’re at a game.”

As more fans are falling in love with the game of hockey, and more specifically the Colorado Avalanche, Hurdle said the crowds in and around Ball Arena are like a giant family.

“I like being in the crowd. It is so much fun with our fans,” Hurdle said. “It really does become an entire family.”

In her time as an emcee for the Avalanche Hurdle has given away signed gear, tickets, trips and even a car. She’s also worked to use her own platform to help the Avs family during times of difficulties. With the 2021-2022 Avs season winding down, potentially on the highest note, Hurdle encouraged anyone who could to attend a game or a watch party.

“It’s going to be a party there, it is going to be so much fun,” Hurdle said.

Dillon Thomas