© Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie
Moose Jaw Warriors fans wave giant heads of Kendall McFaull, Quinton Howden, Cody Beach, Sam Fioretti and Dylan McIlrath at a playoff game against the Medicine Hat Tigers.
The Moose Jaw Warriors had a successful season on the ice and Wednesday they were honoured for their work off of the ice.
The Warriors were the recipient of the Western Hockey League’s Business/Marketing Award at the WHL Awards Banquet.
The Warriors moved into Mosaic Place and the combination of the new building and a winning team made it a record-breaking year for attendance.
“We challenged ourselves. We had the fan base coming out. We thought: ‘the fans are really supporting the team. The team is having a really good year on the ice, what do we need to do to increase the overall entertainment value to really reward the fans and thank the fans that are supporting us?’” said Corey Nyhagen, Warriors director of business operations.
The Warriors average attendance jumped by an average of 1,344 fans per game to an average crowd of 3,899 over the season.
That gave them some financial freedom to try new initiatives. The team gave out clapper noisemakers and thundersticks during the playoffs and leant out giant heads of some of the Warriors players for a down payment.
“The more revenue that the team is able to generate through larger gates, we’re now able to have the funds to be able to do that stuff,” said Nyhagen. “Back in the old Civic Centre days we could only do so much unless it was sponsored. We worked as hard as we could to get things sponsored. . . to be able to do giveaways.
“It’s all about fan involvement at the games and increasing the entertainment value for their dollar. Being able to give stuff away helped spur the fans on. I think it really paid off and I definitely think it’s something that we’re going to look at doing in future games and in future seasons.”
The Warriors had standing-room-only crowds for all seven playoff games and their final nine games in a row total.