The viewing party featured a breakfast buffet, giveaways throughout the game and a chance for fans, who were unable to make the trip to Europe, to watch the game with other fans.
Michael O’Hearn, President of Coyotes Ice, LLC, which owns the Ice Den, was thrilled by Saturday’s turnout.
“The partnership that we’ve had with the Coyotes for years has just been a great one,” O’Hearn said. “Events like this, especially with the team having such a great season last year, starting off so well again today, just bodes well for them, (and) for us. This is something we really embrace and plan to do much, much more of.”
|Coyotes fans celebrate a goal on Saturday at 18 Degrees Neighborhood Grill in Scottsdale. Photo by Norm Hall. |
O’Hearn also said the big turnout is a testament to the growing popularity of the Coyotes.
“This is the grassroots groundswell that the team so desperately needs,” O’Hearn said. “We saw it here in the preseason, before the official training camp even opened, how many people were coming out to watch the team. And events like this can only help to embellish that.”
William Hampton, of Phoenix, attended Saturday’s viewing party with his wife Elaina and a few friends.
“I think it’s great that they’re representing Phoenix,” Hampton said. “They do a great job; they do a lot of things in the community to really make the community better. So I think it’s great that they get to go represent us in Europe.”
Hampton also said that he wanted to go to Prague, but after recently paying for a wedding, such a trip wasn’t possible. But Saturday’s viewing party wasn’t a bad alternate plan considering he won an autographed stick.
David Evers, of Cave Creek, had a front-row seat at the bar and talked during the second intermission about how he thought the Coyotes were representing the NHL well.
|Coyotes fans receive a T-shirt from the Paw Patrol on Saturday morning. Photo by Norm Hall. |
“I think it’s very exciting that they were able to go over there, they have a good opportunity to show what the NHL is over there,” Evers said. “(I’m) very impressed with their offense so far, it’s very nice considering they struggled with offense (last season).”
He also thought his “front-row seat” wasn’t a bad alternative to a seat inside the O2 Arena.
“It’s great that so many people showed up,” Evers said. “They’re excited, they get crazy, and that’s good!”
Every time the Coyotes scored a goal the fans erupted in cheers and the biggest cheer of the morning came at the very end of the game as Phoenix secured a 5-2 victory.
► EDITOR'S NOTE:
to view a photo gallery of the Viewing Party.