The Grand Rapids Griffins just released their schedule for the 2015-16 season. It will mark their 20th campaign overall, 15th as members of the American Hockey League and 14th as the primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.

The Griffins and new head coach Todd Nelson will begin their 76-game slate with an Oct. 9-10 road trip to Bakersfield and San Diego, marking the Griffins' first visit to California since 2004 and their only road battles against new franchises from the Pacific Division. Grand Rapids will open the home portion of its schedule on Friday, Oct. 16 when it faces the San Antonio Rampage at 7 p.m. at Van Andel Arena.

Highlights of the 2015-16 schedule include:

• Twenty-six prime home dates (14 Fridays and 12 Saturdays) out of 38 games;

• The Griffins’ 19th annual New Year’s Eve celebration versus the Milwaukee Admirals on Thu., Dec. 31;

• Grand Rapids’ 15th annual Matinee Game against the Toronto Marlies on Wed., Jan. 27 at 11 a.m.;

• The first-ever visits to Van Andel Arena by the San Diego Gulls (Fri., Nov. 20) and Bakersfield Condors (Sat., April 16);

• A pair of home games (March 11-12) against the Manitoba Moose, the Griffins' longtime rivals (1996-2011) who return to the AHL this season;

• That Oct. 9 season opener in Bakersfield, which pits Nelson against his former organization. The Griffins' first-year coach served as the Edmonton Oilers' interim bench boss for the final 51 games last season, after spending four-plus seasons at the helm of their previous AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City.

Courtesy Grand Rapids Griffins

All Griffins home games will begin at 7 p.m., with the exception of Thu., Dec. 31 (6 p.m.), Sun., Jan. 17 (4 p.m.), Wed., Jan. 27 (11 a.m.) and Sun., Feb. 28 (4 p.m.).

Group tickets for all home dates at Van Andel Arena are now on sale, along with 2015-16 season ticket packages. Single-game tickets will go on sale to the public on Sept. 18. Fans can secure their full-season, select-season or group ticket packages by calling (616) 774-4585 ext. 2 or visit griffinshockey.com for more information.