Saskatoon fans spent over $200,000 at sold-out Blades game concession
SaskTel Centre staff are still recuperating from Sunday’s sold-out game between the Regina Pats and Saskatoon Blades.
While fans left disappointed about the result as the Pats skated away with a 4-2 win, everything that happened up until the final whistle is being judged as a success from the arena’s leadership.
“The atmosphere was unbelievable,” said Scott Ford, executive director at SaskTel Centre. “I think the fans had an amazing time. And, you know, we couldn't be more proud of all of our events staff that were involved in working on this particular project in this game.”
Ford said the event went off without any major disruptions — or complaints — thanks to days of meticulous planning and preparation from the hundreds of people involved.
More than 600 staff and volunteers worked the game on Sunday to cater to every need from the 14,768 capacity crowd.
“I think everybody had their best game face on and everybody approached this event with extreme excitement and a really positive attitude, and I think that resonated with the fans that attended this event,” Ford said.
A casual fan of the Blades might not realize the workforce necessary for such a large event.
Of the roughly 600 staff, 52 worked security and entrances, 50 ushers helped fans find their seats, 10 video production and camera operators kept fans entertained, two electricians kept the lights on, and 54 parking staff ensured the nearly 15,000 people at the game made it out of the parking lot in less than an hour.
For the roughly 320 concession staff working the game, fans kept them busy all night.
Ford says 2,200 boxes of popcorn, 2,500 soda drinks and roughly 1,500 hotdogs were sold as fans spent roughly $15 per person — or $221,500 total — on concession items.
Not only was it the single largest ticketed event for the Blades, it resulted in an economic spinoff that has yet to be realized.
“We had a lot of people that were coming from all over Saskatchewan to this game. Lots of people booking in hotel rooms, lots of people shopping in Saskatoon stores prior to the game, after game staying in Saskatoon hotels, so our tourism economy and the spin off economic benefits of a big event like this really are tremendous,” Ford said.
The Saskatoon Blades office was closed on Monday and no staff were available for an interview.
Luckily for Ford and the other 600 staff members, they get to do it all over again on Friday with Bedard and the Pats back to SaskTel Centre for a rematch.
All of the same tips and suggestions apply — doors will be open at 5:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. puck drop and buses will be at the city’s major malls again — but unlike Sunday, fans will have to contend with the usual late afternoon traffic.
Ford suggests getting to the arena as early as you can, and begging your boss to leave work a little early if you have to.
“I hope they do that,” he said. “It's a Friday. So yeah, let them sneak away a little bit earlier.”
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