Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cents to Stage Big Party:

Here's last week's article from the Merritt News regarding the Centennials. Obviously some of this information is now out of date in light of the recent management shuffle within the team.

Cents to stage big party - John O'Connor - Merritt News

The Merritt Centennials will kick off their exhibition season with a big party in hopes of stirring up more interest in the team.

The British Columbia Hockey League’s longest running franchise, now in its 37th year, will kick off the exhibition round, starting Aug. 31, with a first ever tailgate party.

Merritt Centennials marketing manager Maddison Canuel says the party will be in the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena parking lot and begin around 4:30 and run until the opening face off at 7 p.m. There will be music, food, and a barbecue set up.

Tailgate parties are common in Canada and the United States, especially in the Canadian Football League, but this will be unique as it is not common with hockey.

“There’s already way more excitement in the community with the changes that have been made,” said Canuel.

The Centennials received a serious face lift during the off season, acquiring an entirely new coaching staff.

Cents head coach Joey Bouchard was hired in the spring and assistant coaches Luke Pierce and Richard Molenaar were added shortly thereafter.

Although only 100 season’s tickets have been sold, Canuel is optimistic that the team can sell just short of their 500 season’s ticket goal drive.

Canuel says people who buy season’s tickets have said that they will wait and see how the team does before they renew their ticket packages.

The Centennials are also looking for more corporate sponsorship and have made available some new packages.

An example of one of these packages is the silver package which buys a business the right to their logo on the Centennials game day roster, recognition on the team’s website, 2 seasons tickets, one set of stairs logo at the Memorial Arena, and a full page ad in the Centennials program.

The teams’ marketing department has also created the Player of the Month package for interested corporate sponsors. A sponsor will make an on ice presentation to the Merritt Centennial Player of the Month before the start of the first home game of each month.

The sponsor will provide the prize and be featured in the team program.

The Cents are seeking game night sponsors, rink board advertisements, and hockey jersey patches.

In addition to season’s tickets, there are also 30-game packs available.

Season's ticket prices for adults are $250, $210 for students, and $100 for minor hockey players.

The 30-Game Family Pack is $650 and includes to adult season's tickets and two season's tickes for either students, seniors, or children.

The 10-Game Flex Pack is $110 for adults, $80 for students, and $70 for seniors or children. Corporate and group rates are also available.

Currently, the Centennials have the cheapest single game tickets in the B.C. Hockey League.

Merritt Centennials’ exhibition schedule:
Aug 31 - Merritt vs. Penticton 7 p.m. - Nicola Valley Memorial Arena
Sept 2 - Merritt @ Penticton 7:30 p.m. - South Okanagan Events Centre
Sept 3 - Merritt @ Salmon Arm - 7:30 p.m. - Sunwave Centre
Sept 4 - Merritt vs. Salmon Arm - 7:30 p.m. - Nicola Valley Memorial Arena
Sept 6 - Merritt @ Westside - 2:30 p.m. - Royal LePage Place

Regular Season Home Opener
Sept 11 - Trail @ Merritt 7:30 pm - Nicola Valley Memorial Arena

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