GLENDALE – OK Coyotes fans, we dare you to keep up with these Joneses.
Jeff and Kathleen Jones, and their 17-year-old daughter Jaye, are partial season-ticket holders who love attending Coyotes home games so much they travel about 600 miles round-trip from Temecula, Calif., without giving it a second thought.
|From left to right: Bailey, Kathleen, Jeff and Jaye Jones outside Gila River Arena. |
“Because my husband is an Arizona native we really try to support the Arizona teams,” Kathleen said. “We’re not really that big into the California teams and we’d rather support our quote unquote home teams, even if we don’t live there anymore.”
The Jones family resided in Arizona until 2001 when it moved west. Before relocating, the family enjoyed attending a Coyotes home game every now and then but they weren’t hardcore fans. That changed in 2012 when the Coyotes made their run to the Western Conference finals, and Jaye became a die-hard supporter. The past two seasons they’ve been partial season-ticket holders whom you’ll find in Row G of Section 207, mostly on Saturday nights.
The Jones family has members of its extended family still living in Arizona and usually one of them uses the family’s fourth ticket if son Bailey, who recently joined the Marines, doesn't use it. Whether they can find a fourth or not, Jeff and Kathleen and Jaye rarely miss one of the games in their ticket package.
Kathleen says Jaye enjoys getting to the games early so she can stand by the player tunnel and interact with the Coyotes as they take the ice for warm-ups. For instance, she usually calls out Shane Doan’s favorite bible verse as the captain skates onto the ice.
The Joneses typically spend about eight hours driving to and from Coyotes home games in their 2009 Volkswagen Jetta -- which already has more than 200,000 miles on it. On the ride to Glendale, they pass the time talking about the Coyotes, recent games, player trends, etc. They also discuss that game’s opponent and things for which to watch during the game.
“That pretty much passes the four hours,” Kathleen said. “On the way home, Jaye usually sleeps and I try to stay awake for my husband, but I’m not always successful.”
The option of staying in Glendale after the Saturday games is not a viable one. That’s because Jeff and Kathleen are youth pastors in their hometown and they need to be at church by 5 a.m. on Sundays.
“We usually get home between 1 and 2 a.m.,” Kathleen said. “It’s a long trip but it’s one we love to take.”