Hey all! It was our first “Ticket Holder Carnival” last night! The photo above was taken from section 201: You can see the dunk tank in the foreground, with Cole Bardreau officiating, and the hockey “shooting gallery” with Strax in charge. Inflatables, Zamboni’s to climb on, and a hot dog stand fill out the floor of the arena. Around the concourse, they had autograph stations, the hype-team playing air guitar, balloon animals and face painting, a silent jersey auction, concessions, and some games set up inside the Morning Call Club. The games in the club were big screen NHL Hockey and FIFA soccer. There were two bubble hockey games, and a foose-ball table which had unfortunately lost its ball. Most things were free–except the 50/50 and beer, that is. Take a look at the prices:
Before I go on, let me just say that I think putting on this “carnival” was a great thing to do for the Season Ticket Holders. Before they announced it, I had no idea that it was even being planned (perhaps it wasn’t…). I think if you ask STH what they want, access to the players and a chance to hang out without constantly being asked for money would be on the list. I know that the partial-season ticket holders were not invited, but I suppose you have to draw the line somewhere. I know I was dismayed that the seat signs and suite party earlier this season were for the 5-year season ticket holders and not for the single-season or 3-year commits. But it is what it is, and was part of the reason I upgraded my plan from 3- to 5-years. Well, that and protection from impending price increases. So I’d encourage partial-season seat-holders to consider upgrading their commitment. You’ll be able to choose exactly which games you want to go to, and selling on the secondary market for the games you can’t get to has been easy–they tell me–and a decent value for the buyers because they avoid the arena fees.
But, just like everything, there could be improvements. The lines for the players were very, very long. With the previous autograph days, the skating with the players days, and the “Breaking The Ice” on Monday nights, I thought perhaps folks might have had their fill of signatures and pictures. Alas, no. What made it more difficult for the fans–but better for the players because it keeps them moving–was that they rotated the players. You could stand in line for a player, but by the time you get to the front, he’s been swapped out with another. That’s not cool if you’ve got your sights set on a certain autograph. There was a schedule of the players’ appearances, but it was not made very available–even to the employees at the arena. However, I clipped this from a Facebook post:
My companion for the night, Kram3, only wanted to meet one player: Jay Rosehill. Without this schedule, and not seeing him anywhere, we left way before he appeared in the arcade.
The solution, of course, is to make this schedule more available to the fans, and now that we know what to expect, we can adjust for next season. I do hope they have the event again next season! I’ll plan to stay longer and eat there and everything!
Anyway, any time you can leave an event with a story to tell, it’s a good time. So, here’s mine:
Kram3 was disappointed with the length of the lines and with “Rosey” nowhere to be seen. Autographs aren’t my thing, but I offered to stand in any line he wanted. He wasn’t up for it. So, we made our way down to the area floor to check that stuff out. The dunk-tank was being manned by our guy Jesper Pettersson at the time. And, the line was really short.
A few very young kiddos were doing their best to sink the Phantoms staffer in the Hershey Bears jersey. They weren’t having much luck, but “Petey” was being very patient and helping them move up closer to get a better shot at the dunk target. Evidently, the water in the tank was warmer than the air in the ice hockey arena, so the “Hershey Fan” was starting to get cold, and heckle the throwers by cheering: “LET’S GO! HER-SHE!” Kram3 decided that it was time to act. But first, he asked Jesper to sign his jersey. “Let’s Go! Her-She!” continued.
As you can see in the photo above, Pettersson has a rather unique and complicated signature. He took his time signing it.
“LET’S GO! HER-SHE!”
Then, he prepared to offer Kram3 four balls to throw at the target.
“LET’S GO! HER-SHE!”
Now, Kram3 is a lefty. And, he’s got a really good arm. At one point his ability to throw hard with his left arm was going to be my retirement plan. Alas, he’s now a soccer player. But I digress.
“LET’S GO! HER-SHE!”
So instead of grabbing all four balls, Kram3 just reaches out with his left hand and grabs one.
“LET’S GO! HER–
The “Hershey Fan” was underwater before he could get the second syllable out. You can see the yellow ball in the above photo, obscuring the hand of the dude in the background taking a photo with his phone. Kram3 gave a fist-pump like he’d just scored a Stanley Cup goal, and walked away–letting someone else have a chance. His work was done, and Jesper is standing there smiling, still holding the other three balls.
See you at the arena,