March 31, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; The Phoenix Coyotes acknowledge the fans after a game with the Anaheim Ducks in the third period at Jobing.com. The Coyotes defeated the Ducks 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE

Fan Appreciation Night


The Phoenix Coyotes held their annual fan appreciation night last night at Jobing.com during their beatdown of the Anaheim Ducks. Several things stood out as positive. Several things can be improved, and several things can be brought to every game.

Love: Giving away game used equipment to fans. Most of us collect memorabilia in one form or another. A signed picture, jersey, hat. Maybe a puck thrown over the glass by Shane at the end of warmups. Or the holy grail, a game used stick. Improve: More players’ equipment could have been given out. And give them out to those in the lower bowl. We pay the most for the tickets, give us a perk of spending thousands of dollars annually.

Love: Giving the Hero of the Game a signed jersey. Improve: Do it every game. Make it a signed stick or jersey. Team or favorite player. Alternate players. When the Coyote charity table used to sell items and not just to the 50:50 raffle, I’ve witnessed fans buy the signed stick that was up for silent auction and then hand it to the Hero of the Game.

Love: Airline tickets to Vegas compliments of Spirit Airlines to an entire row. Improve: Get 2 tickets to Hawaii. 2 tickets and game tickets to accompany the team to an away game.

Love: suites to concerts. Improve: suite to a game the following season. Not knowing where this team will reside does inhibit that ability.

Love: Aramark giving out free drink coupons. Improve: Put the coupon on the chairs. After the announcement was made that there was a free beverage coupon on each armrest, it was pretty clear that no one in the section had one.

Love: Post game salute to the fans. Players go to center ice and raise their sticks. Improve: Do it after every home game win. We as fans invest emotionally and financially in this team. When the players reciprocate that emotion, it makes us want to do it again.

Future Fan Apprecation Night Ideas: The chance to be a stick boy during a preseason game. Tickets on the glass. A suite to a Tuesday night game against Columbus or the Islanders. Aramark food vouchers. Dinner with the announcing crew. Perform a ceremonial puck drop. How about the chance to have a meet and greet with some of the former players who still live in the valley?

And my favorite that was done in the 2008-2009 season, the shirt off our backs. Players gave their sweaty jerseys to randomly selected fans after the game. Not just signed, not just game worn, but you actually saw the game and the player sign the jersey. A Coyote fan dream.

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