More than one thousand Coyotes season-ticket holders showed up at Jobing.com Arena on Tuesday night to score autographs from the players. Fans holding full-season tickets received the opportunity in an exclusive annual event that showcased the openness of the athletes in an intimate setting.
“The best part of being a season-ticket holder is the access (to the players),” said Bob Weeden, who has had full-season tickets in Section 108 for four years. “You get to meet the guys. This sort of stuff is more special than anything else because you get to meet the guys, talk to the guys, get to know them a little bit better and not just see them on the ice.”
Captain Shane Doan
, goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and their teammates interacted with those in attendance and signed for several hours.
“For all of the season-tickets holders, it’s the one event a year that they can count on where they can see the players and can meet-and-greet with the players they haven’t met yet,” said Jackie Johnson, who is the team’s Director of Ticket Services. “The only way to guarantee yourself player access is by being a season-ticket holder. None of our other plans come with access to the players, so if you are looking to meet one of your favorite players like Shane Doan
or Ilya Bryzgalov, it’s really the only way to get to meet them.”
For season-ticket holder Rod Mamero, a 250-mile round-trip drive from Payson to Jobing.com Arena is worth the trip throughout the season.
“Being at a hockey game live and watching hockey on TV is like apple and oranges,” said Mamero, who has had season tickets in Section 106 for a year and a half. “You really have to be here to experience it. We make it a point to get here and be here for every game early.”
For Marian Rienecker, being able to interact with the players is just one of the highlights of being a season-ticket holder.
“I love it,” said Rienecker, who has had season tickets in Section 220 for two seasons. “I am such a fanatic of the Coyotes that I just love watching them. It’s wonderful to be at an event like this.”