By Zachary Baru
As the Springfield Falcons look ahead to the playoffs after capturing their second straight Northeast Division title, the MassMutual Center prepares for a busy stretch of everything from playoff hockey to commencements.
This weekend, the Falcons wrap-up their regular season with two games, followed by a Justin Moore concert on April 15. This concert was originally scheduled for February, but a snow storm postponed the performance. The arena set-up will be an end stage configuration, with the stage between sections 11 and 22.
Immediately following the concert will be an appearance by Disney on Ice, which will be from April 16-20. There are two Friday performances scheduled, followed by three on Saturday.
Don't forget about the Falcons, whose American Hockey League Calder Cup Playoffs begin shortly after. As if that is not enough for April, on the 25th the Convention Center will hold the 2014 Bay Path Women's Leadership Conference with keynote speaker Barbara Walters.
May will be commencement season for the MassMutual Center, with six colleges set to host their commencements in the arena between May 10th and May 31st. Colleges include Bay Path, Westfield State, American International, Springfield College, Springfield Technical and Holyoke Community.
All of this means more economic activity in and around Springfield. The additional traffic downtown will support restaurants and other local businesses, while visitors to the region for the commencements will support hotels in the Springfield area. As people flock to the MassMutual Center in the coming months, the Pioneer Valley awaits the economic benefits such events can provide.
Zach Baru can be followed on Twitter @zbaru and reached at email@example.com.