As October approaches, players, executives and fans alike begin to bite their nails, eagerly awaiting the start of the NHL season. Many teams are releasing media teasers and promotional videos to encourage support from the fans, as well as muster a sense of excitement with their fan base.
The Arizona Coyotes will be taking that a step further for the second straight year. The Coyotes will host a “Red Carpet Arrival and Plaza Party” prior to their home opener against the Anaheim Ducks at Gila River Arena on October 6th. All Coyotes players including newly named Captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson, young forward Clayton Keller, as well as broadcasters Matt McConnell, Tyson Nash, Bob Heethius, Paul Bissonnette and Owner Andrew Barroway will walk the red carpet.
After arriving on the south side of the Westgate Plaza, the players, media and management will walk down the red carpeted Plaza and in through the front doors of Gila River Arena. As they trot through the plaza, they will be introduced and available for interviews, pictures and the opportunity to sign autographs for fans. The Coyotes event is reminiscent of many of the red carpet events that take place in Hollywood, garnering tremendous amounts of excitement for fans.
The players will arrive in BMW’s between 3:00-4:00 P.M., whilst fans will be invited into the red carpet viewing zone starting at 2:30 P.M. The Coyotes mascot, Howler, and members of the dancing squad, the Paw Patrol, will also be in attendance giving away prizes and interacting with fans. However, the Coyotes did not want the party to end there. DJ Ice Man will keep the plaza rocking until the gates open up for the game.
The Red Carpet event is a very strategic and clever move for the Coyotes as the organization works to build excitement and a larger following for the team. Though a part of the sports scene in the Valley for 22 years, overall attendance has declined in the last decade. With a promising group of young and talented players, the Coyotes must do all they can to encourage fan engagement and build a community of followers as the team continues to improve. Hosting a unique event such as this one before the home opener will help construct a culture and sense of family amongst Coyotes fans. Not only are the Coyotes creating awareness, buzz and building interest, but also creating a tradition that their fans can be proud of.
In addition to the Red Carpet, the Coyotes will continue the festivities inside the rink by honoring former Coyotes’ center Jeremy Roenick, as part of their “Kachina Saturdays”. Roenick will partake in the ceremonial puck drop as part of the Opening Night festivities. For each of the 13 Saturday home games this season, the Coyotes will wear their new third Kachina jerseys, as well as honor former players. On arguably hockey’s biggest day of the week, the Arizona Coyotes are creating an atmosphere that fans will not want to miss.