The "Our Team" rally in Nashville appears well on the way to achieving its goal of demonstrating increased fan support for the Predators and building a foundation to first achieve the magic 14,000 figure, and work towards long-term financial stability as well. The radiothon started at 6 a.m. and runs until 9:00 p.m. this evening, and coordinator George Plaster has talked of a target to sell 300-500 Full Seaason Ticket Equivalents. As of 2:47 p.m., they are over the 315 mark and the 6 p.m. rally has yet to come.
I went down to the Sommet Center on my lunch hour and purchased a box lunch for $5, with the proceeds going to the Predators Foundation. The place was abuzz with activity, so to pass some time I picked up a price list, and started walking through the arena to check out the available seats, which were labelled conveniently. The minimum partial ticket plan available today was for 13 home dates, which sounded a little daunting for my personal situation. The Little Forecheckers are 5, 5, and 4, so babysitting costs alone would probably equal the cost of tickets for my wife and I to attend 13 games. I figured I'd have to wait until later in the summer and perhaps go for a 6-pack plan or something smaller. Then the idea hit me...
At this age, it's a great time to start introducing my kids to NHL hockey. So I called the wife, ran the idea by her that we could use some of the games for just one of us to take one of the kids, and let them take turns, thus saving on the bulk of the babysitting. Before I even finished my thought, she replied, "that's a great idea, go do it." A few minutes later, I'm a proud Nashville Predators partial season ticket holder. As I've written before, I've been incredibly lucky to see some incredible NHL games over the course of time for free. Well, I've been a freeloader for far too long, and I'm excited about the chance to have regular seats to watch what should be an excellent team this season, and especially to introduce the Little Forecheckers to live NHL action. I went down to the Pro Shop at the Sommet Center since it was running an 80% off sale, and got shirts for all three of them. When I head back down there for the rally I may pick up a jersey as well.
I also took the chance to introduce myself to Eklund, who flew down for the day and had nothing but good things to say about Nashville as a hockey town and the Predators as an outstanding young team. As far as I can tell he's been the only prominent figure outside Nashville openly pushing for the team to stay, and for that, Preds fans are grateful. He seemed to be quite friendly and greeted many fans who walked up to shake his hand during radio breaks.
I'll check back in after the rally this evening.