Kootenay Ice President and General Manager Matt Cockell gives team mascot Shivers a high five at the ‘Drive to 25 BBQ’ on Saturday, June 3, 2017. (Brad McLeod Photo)

Kootenay Ice President and General Manager Matt Cockell gives team mascot Shivers a high five at the ‘Drive to 25 BBQ’ on Saturday, June 3, 2017. (Brad McLeod Photo)

Kootenay Ice up to 1,029 season tickets sold following ‘Drive to 25 BBQ’

Team generates hype for ‘new Ice age’ at successful family event held at Bridge Interiors

The Kootenay Ice are continuing to make headway on their goal to sell 2,500 tickets before the start of the 2017-18 season.

On Monday morning, the team revealed through their various social media channels that they were 41 percent of the way to their target with their current tally at 1,029.

A week earlier, on May 29, the count was at 854 tickets sold.

As part of the effort to sell tickets and further integrate the new ownership group into the community, the Ice held a Family BBQ at Bridge Interiors on Saturday afternoon and drew a significant crowd.

The event – which ran from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. – included free hot dogs, hamburgers and beverages for attendees and also gave fans a chance to enter to win three prizes. In addition, the crowd donated over $1,800 to the Kootenay Ice Education Fund.

“The Ice want to thank all those who came out from Cranbrook and the East Kootenay Region to support the event,” said President and GM Matt Cockell in a team release. “We’re thrilled with the amount of people who attended and shared their feedback and ideas with us.”

Cockell was front and centre at the fun-filled event, taking time to talk to nearly everyone in attendance. He was also joined by Ice forward Jake Elmer who made the drive with his family from their home in Calgary to be an ambassador for the team.

In addition to a number of fans purchasing their season tickets at the BBQ, the team also sold hats and t-shirts featuring their new logo.

On Monday, the team continued to make a splash with season ticket sales with the Cranbrook Colonels senior hockey team buying 10 student season passes and current NHL player and Ice-alumni, Adam Cracknell, buying a pair of special season tickets.

According to Cracknell, his two tickets will be donated to local kids as part of an initiative called “Cracknell’s Student of the game.”

“My wife and I purchased two season tickets for the upcoming season,” Cracknell said in a video posted on the team’s social media. “We just wanted to recognize kids that are doing hard work in school and hopefully this will be something that they can drive towards.

“I’m really excited to be partnered up with the Kootenay Ice for this upcoming season and looking forward to [it] starting.”

Cracknell went on to explain that buying season tickets for this cause is something that he’s always wanted to do, and he’s thrilled to now be able to give back to the community in this manner.

For the past two seasons, the Ice have had the lowest average attendance in the WHL with a 1,754 person average in 2016-17 and a 1,957 person average in 2015-16. In 2016-17, the team sold 1,315 season tickets.