Reign’s bobblehead giveaways begin Saturday
Fielding Buck, Staff Writer
The Ontario Reign is bringing back some familiar faces to help with the rest of the season.
They’re only a few inches tall, and since they’re made of polymer material, they won’t be any help on the ice. But they should help at the gates.
The Reign’s bobblehead doll giveaway begins Saturday with collectibles of the former Reign defenseman David Walker going to the first 3,000 fans in attendance.
Walker was with the Reign when the minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings arrived in the Inland area in 2008, taking up residence in the newly built Citizens Business Bank Arena. He was a team captain in the 2010 ECHL All-Stars game, played in Ontario.
His last season with the Reign was 2010-2011. He is now with the Schwenninger Wild Wings in southwestern Germany.
Two other bobblehead giveaways will honor former center Jon Francisco, Feb.18, and defenseman Shawn Germain on March 3.
Promotions have helped the Reign reach the No. 3 position in ECHL attendance: 108,715 for 19 games with an average of 5,722 people per game, according to the league’s website.
A “Star Wars” night brought in 7,308 fans on Jan. 20 to see Storm Troopers from the Inland Empire Squad of the 501st Legion as well as a 6-4 loss to the Colorado Eagles.
A 4-2 victory against the Eagles the following night was witnessed by 8,984 fans, positioning the Reign to keep its “back-to-back-to-back attendance” championship in the ECHL for a third consecutive year, according to a press release.
Reign’s president Justin Kemp predicts a strong second half to the season in attendance as well as team performance. He said weekend games are very popular with Inland residents, and early start times make them family-friendly.
Despite a stadium filled with signage for Sailor Jerry Rum and its scantily clad hula girl, Reign games remain bastions of non-stop family entertainment with contests, giveaways, kiss cams and two mascots: Blaze the Dragon and the Dark Knight.
Keeping it all going is an army of sponsors, including Highland’s San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino, which maintains a VIP lounge.
Food concessions include food concessions include hot dogs, chicken and tri-tip and one “wow factor” item, a $16 giant pretzel that is baked to order and delivered to guests’ seats in a box that could fit a medium-sized pizza. It comes with cheese dip, hot mustard and a sweet frosting in little cups that make it look like a face, specifically Mr. Bill, the old “Saturday Night Live” claymation character.
The bobblehead promotions are actually layered on top of other promotions. Saturday will be the University of La Verne’s annual “Teacher Appreciation/Go Green” night with the Reign wearing specially designed jerseys.
On Feb. 18, Ontario Fire Department will play the New York Fire Department at 2 p.m. in “Fire on Ice IV.” The giveaway of the Francisco bobbleheads will begin when the doors open at 1 p.m. for at that game.
After “Fire on Ice,” the Reign plays the Idaho Steelheads at 6 p.m.
Reign fans will more likely be interested in the polymer heads.
WHEN: Team plays two home games against the Utah Grizzlies. 7 p.m. Friday; bobblehead giveaway is 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Citizens Business Bank Arena, 4000 E. Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario
TICKETS: $10-$50, $5 parking fee. Click here to purchase your tickets.
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