69-WFMZ-TV is getting in on the ground floor with its support of Allentown's new hockey team and the arena it will call home.
The station has signed on to become a founding partner of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the PPL Center sports and entertainment complex, officials announced Tuesday.
As part of the multi-year agreement, 69-WFMZ-TV will open a glass-front broadcast studio at the ground-floor entrance to the arena at 7th and Hamilton streets, serving as a base of operations for the station's coverage of Allentown.
"We are thrilled to support the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and PPL Center and the value they will bring to the Lehigh Valley," said Barry Fisher, 69-WFMZ-TV's general manager. "We are equally excited to open our broadcast studio where viewers can watch us deliver special programming and news reports in person."
The station will maintain its main studio in nearby Salisbury Twp., Lehigh Co., as well as its newsrooms and studios in downtown Reading and Easton.
The new arena is scheduled to be completed in time for the Phantoms 2014-15 season. The team is currently playing in Glens Falls, N.Y.
Other founding partners of the Phantoms and the arena include PPL Corporation, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Service Electric Cable TV and Communications and Capital BlueCross.