Oct. 26 Walleye Opening Night to kick off with FinFestWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Every year the Walleye Opening Night celebration gets bigger and better, said Michael Keedy, manager of special events for the Toledo Walleye.
“It’s been fun to watch the progression,” Keedy said. “It’s been fun to see how it’s become one of the biggest Downtown parties of the year and we’re going to keep going down that path.”
The first home Walleye game of the season is Oct. 26. FinFest, the annual pregame party, is set for 4:30 p.m. at The Aquarium at the Huntington Center.
“We’ve done FinFest before every Opening Night and it’s gotten better and better,” Keedy said. “It’s just a big party. The Aquarium has garage doors, which will be open so it will be indoors and outdoors.”
FinFest will feature live music from The Bradberries, drink specials, face painting, glitter tattoo artists, a photobooth and giveaways. Head coach Nick Vitucci will speak to fans to welcome the new season.
The game starts at 7:15 p.m. and Keedy said fans will want to be in their seats early. The first 4,000 fans will get blue or gold glow wands.
“We did this last year, too. We shut off all the lights when we announce the team and it’s a great effect [with the wands],” Keedy said. “We’ll also have a special pyro display with flames shooting up near the Spike tunnel when players are announced and, with the glow wands, it’s going to be a really, really cool atmosphere.”
After the game, 5,000 magnet schedules will be handed out. There will also be a party with the players in the club-level lounge open to anyone with a game ticket.
On Oct. 12, the Walleye will hit the ice for a home preseason exhibition game at 7:15 p.m. against the Kalamazoo Wings. Tickets are $5 with general admission seating. All proceeds will benefit the team’s charitable fund, the Walleye Wishing Well.
“It’s a warmup for the season and the first time people will be able to see the 2013-14 Walleye in action,” Keedy said.
During the first period of the game, fans will be able to walk through the Spike entrance tunnel, set up behind the goal area where retractable seating normally is, Keedy said. A Zamboni will also be parked there for fans to look at up close and take photos with.
“We’re going to have a fan experience zone right there behind the goal,” Keedy said.