If you think you’ve been seeing a lot more Regina Pats gear in and around the Queen City, you’re probably right.
The Pats are in the midst of one the winningest seasons in franchise history, setting a new season high for points at 104 and it could rise even higher.
All this winning has translated into significantly more people taking in games at the Brandt Centre and more people buying Pats branded gear.
According to numbers from the Regina Pats, the average attendance for Pats games in the 2016-17 season is 5,400, good enough for fifth in the WHL. That’s up from 4,300 average attendance in 2015-16, where they sat at 11th place.
The Pats have also had 14 sell outs so far this season with three more home games to go. Last season including playoffs the Pats had just four sell outs.
This isn’t just a testament to the on ice product, however. According to Vice President of Communications Mark Rathwell, the club has worked hard at changing the entire game day experience for the fans.
“We can’t rely on winning to have people come to the games so we’ve worked really hard on our marketing and social media to give people the awareness that we’re here, that it’s an exciting night that it’s not just about great hockey,” he said.
Some of the additions to the game day experience include a massive centre ice scoreboard that allows the Pats to have more fan interaction with videos, kiss cams and dance battles.
Certain nights of the week also have food specials, including Tuesday night’s two taco in a bag for $10 deal and two for $5 hot dogs on (wiener) Wednesday.
The Pats have also seen a marked increase in merchandise sales over last year. Rathwell said that the Pats year to date numbers are 40 per cent higher than last season with three home games and the playoffs still yet to happen.
“You’re seeing people around town wearing hats and sweaters and that type of thing. It’s exciting to see from where we come and where we are,” he added.
The Pats play three more home games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Rathwell said he expects the Tuesday and Wednesday games to hit the attendance average and Friday’s game – which is also fan appreciation night – to sell out.
Pats playoff ticket packages and single game tickets are currently on sale.
Regina will be able to clinch the top spot in the WHL with a win Tuesday night against the Saskatoon Blades.