By Michael Boriero
The Sherbrooke Phoenix have partnered with Global Excel, a company based in the heart of Lennoxville and known for its community support, to offer reduced ticket prices for young hockey fans throughout the month of December.
According to Phoenix Executive Director Jacqueline Belleau, there are four home games in December, and children 12 years old and under will be able to watch Sherbrooke at the Palais des Sports for just $1. The normal ticket price is $5.50 plus tax, she explained to The Record.
“I think we’ve seen how exciting it is for kids. A lot of kids here look up to the Phoenix and being able to come to a game is a pretty special experience, so we’re just trying to make it as easy as possible and as inclusive as possible,” Belleau said in a phone interview Wednesday.
The goal is to make it more affordable for families in the area to come out and support the Phoenix, as they continue to dominate the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). They recently defeated the first-place Quebec Remparts. Sherbrooke is second in the league.
And the four games in December are all special events, as well. There is the stuffed animals game on Dec. 3, the Santa Claus game on Dec. 16, and two games, Dec. 28 and 30, during the holiday break. The game on Dec. 30 will be an early celebration of the New Year for every fan.
Belleau noted the stuffed animals game is always an exciting experience for young fans. She said as soon as Sherbrooke scores its first goal of the game, spectators are encouraged to throw their stuffed animal onto the ice. The toys will be collected for distribution at Estrie Aide.
As for the appearance of Santa Claus in the following home game, Belleau hinted that there might be some surprises in store for the children in attendance. She added the partnership and initiative would not have worked out without the help of Manon Howie, as well as Global Excel.
Belleau told The Record that the Phoenix will cover part of the costs associated with the initiative. However, she added, Global Excel has stepped up, taking on most of the expenses incurred by offering reduced ticket prices to a significant number of young hockey supporters.
“It’s hard to find another company in our area that has been so attentive to the community and that has been a better partner,” Belleau said, noting Global Excel and the Phoenix partnered up last season for a similar initiative, which garnered a lot of praise from families in the community.