Feature Story                                                                                         Tuesday, January 14, 2014

 

Celebrating Fans

Chilliwack Chiefs hope break in ticket prices will pack the rink to the rafters in the 2014-15 season

Staff/Voice photos

 

Glen Ringdal announces the Chiefs 25th Anniversary "celebration ticket" prices in front of the team's new logo at a press conference Monday at Prospera Centre.

 

t's been a quarter century since the Chiefs first skated into Chilliwack. In celebration of the team's 25th Anniversary, club management announced at a rink-side press conference Monday, that 2014-15 season tickets will be offered for the "celebration price" of $199 almost 50 per cent off the regular price of $388 from now until April 1. Seniors can buy their seats for $189 and all child and youth to 18 years can guy season tickets for $99. It can all be done from your Facebook page too.

A full arena is better than a half-full arena. Currently, on game night, the 5,000-seat Prospera Centre sees on average about 1,647 fans in attendance. So theoretically, by cutting season ticket prices in half, they could add that many more fans, almost filling the arena.

It's a brilliant marketing strategy at a local level. Reduced season ticket prices make games more accessible by opening it up to potential fans who otherwise may not be able to afford to see games on a regular basis, plus, it shows a debt of gratitude to stolid supporters who've been there all along for the team.

 

Clearly, they aren't going to make money on this sales scheme, but there is the possibility that increased food, beverage and team paraphernalia sales may help the owners pay the bills.

Prospera Centre was built as a public-private partnership (P3) between the council of the day in 2004 and the Chiefs Development Group.

Glen Ringdal, Chilliwack Chiefs President-Director of Business Development, told City Hall dignitaries Acting Mayor Stewart McLean, Councillors Chuck Stam, Ken Popove, Sue Attrill and Jason Lum that a crucial element in the club's future success was having Prospera Credit Union ink a five-year sponsorship deal.

"Today, we have signed an agreement that will see Prospera Credit Union continue to be the title sponsor for another five years at least, and this facility will continue to be recognized as the icon it is," he said adding that tickets are now the best deal in the BCHL and the lowest overall season ticket prices in the club's 25-year history.

Ringdal still has some tricks under his sleeve to make the 33 games in the 2014-15 season notable ones.


Head Coach Harvey Smyl (L to R), Acting Mayor Stewart McLean, Fieny van den Boom Executive Director of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce, Kevin Gemmel Chilliwack Chamber President and 89.5 The Drive Radio station manager, event organizer Ana Macedo and Chilliwack City Councillor Ken Popove. Below, Dan Whalley, Prospera Credit Union VP of branch operations.

 

"With the creative input and hard work of Julie Stevens, Manager of Corporate Sourcing at Prospera Credit Union, our Director of Marketing Barry Douglas and our Events Manager Andrea Laycock, it is our intention and plan to create events and activities that will make Prospera Centre even more important to all its clients of Chilliwack and a place where they experience significant, memorable events in their lives," said Ringdal.

Ringdal also said the Club is currently in the planning stages of a number of special events and programs that will recognize their past and their "great players" and staff.

"But most of all, we want to celebrate our fans, and with our fans, recognizing that, just as much as the players, coaches, owners, staff, billets, corporate sponsors and even volunteers and they, the people that buy the tickets and cheer the boys on from the stands, even in the tough years, and those that follow us on the radio or on pay-per-view, and those that come out to our special events,"

According to Ringdal, the Club will be partnering with ShoWare Ticketing Services to implement a new user-friendly system that will allow fans to pick seats and purchase tickets online in Facebook using devices like smart phones at no extra cost.

Dan Whalley, Prospera Credit Union VP of branch operations, and a father himself, also spoke saying he moved to Chilliwack in 1986 and raised his family, and understands the value of what the rink brings to the community.

"We raised our kids here and can attest first-hand to the great work happens that here in Chilliwack with the Chilliwack Chiefs," he said.

Because of his connection to the rink through his own children, Whalley's been able to take that to the bank's executive and help cement ties with the hockey club in terms of club sponsorship.


Harvey Smyl talks about the connection he has made and kept with his players over the last 20 years as head coach.


Whalley said Prospera Credit Union's has been operating in Chilliwack for 40 years and their mantra is to make a meaningful difference in the well-being of people in the community. He sees the club and financial institution as a good fit.

"I congratulate you all on your milestone anniversary and thank you for everything you do in the city of Chilliwack," he said. "On behalf of everyone at Prospera, I look forward to continuing our journey together."

Head Coach Harvey Smyl has been involved with the Chiefs for the past twenty years and still keeps in touch with a lot of the players who've come and gone over the decades and refers to the staff and players as "Chiefs family".

 

He said he's been fielding e-mails from former players asking how they could be a part of the anniversary celebrations



"I'm well connected with the boys throughout the countries that they live in," explained Smyl. "They are all very, very proud of the time that they spent here in Chilliwack and the fact that we're having the 25th Anniversary."

"Hopefully we can build off this past year, and all twenty-five years, and I'm pretty excited about the next year coming," concluded Smyl.

Ringdal added that Smyl has done "a spectacular job of representing hockey to all the young men that have come through their program over the years."

"We're going to celebrate them over the year as we are celebrating our fans the most important component of this whole organization," he said.


 

Find more information about the Chiefs and their game schedule here.

 

 

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