WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers held a unique season ticket holder event Thursday Night at Wesbanco Arena. “Signing Day,” where the season ticket holders got to sign an actual ECHL contract (the same one the players sign,) have a picture taken of the signing and a picture taken in the Nailers locker room with their last name above the stall. The nameplate used above the stall as well as the photos and the contract are all keepsakes the season ticket holder keeps from the event.
At the signing table with the season ticket holder, was Nailers head coach Jeff Christian and team Governor Don Rigby. After Rigby and Coach Christian signed the contract it was given to the season ticket holder seated between them to sign and then pose for the picture. Modeled after a college type signing day according to Nailers’ Director of Media and Community Relations, DJ Abisalih, the staff thought this would be a unique experience and a fun one.
“We were thinking of how we can make something special and unique and new for our season ticket holders, so it was kind of a collaborative idea and we know that colleges make a big deal of their signing day and thought ‘Hey, it would be kind of neat for our season ticket holders to sign their own contracts and then how can we make it bigger?’ So, we took it from contract signing to picture in the locker room with the locker room name plate and it really evolved from there.”
With really little fanfare, as Rigby put it, the team was really impressed with the turnout and had a lot of fun with the event. Coach Christian, always one for interacting with the fans, seemed to enjoy himself as well.
“It’s a big success. Everyone had a great time here tonight. It’s great to see the fans, we have a really great fan base,” Rigby said. “That was evident two years ago when we went to the finals and even last year when we didn’t make the playoffs. People still come out and support us here and these are the heart and soul. It’s great. Everyone is very positive and wishing us the best and hoping that their favorite players return. And it’s a really fun and unique event, and I’m happy to see the folks in Wheeling and everyone is excited to get back at it. Unfortunately, we gotta wait a few more months.”
Overall about 89 season ticket holder accounts took part in the event.