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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Club hockey aims to draw student fans

In the Arizona hockey team’s first year as a university club sport, efforts have been made to make games more accessible to the University of Arizona student body.

A section was created behind the north goal just for students, said Cody Nicholls, the director of hockey operations.

“It’s intentionally placed behind the opponent’s goalie two out of the three periods,” Nicholls said.

“That’s a consistent model in a lot of college hockey.”

The team has also joined with University Villas apartments to provide a free shuttle service from the fountains by Old Main to the Tucson Convention Center an hour before game time through 45 minutes afterwards.

Unfortunately, things have not run perfectly smooth out of the gate for the Wildcats.

The student section, which costs $5 for student and isn’t part of ZonaZoo, was not any wilder than other section during the Wildcat’s first two series. Of course, the games were during Halloween and homecoming weekends and all four were blowouts. Once more competitive games come down the slate, such as the ASU rivalry games, the attendance will most likely rise.

“(Students are) traditionally more rambunctious and loud,” Nicholls said.

He added that the student section provides “the best seats in the house.”

The Wildcats other addition had a rough start as well.

The shuttle service did run for the first series against Texas but was not advertised for because of timing issues.

Now the AdCats, a student advertising team at the UA, have posted fliers on the service around campus and have also been conducting surveys to see how effective marketing the shuttle service can be, AdCats member Ronnie Larik said.

Even with the new ads, however, some students have still faced difficulties using the service.

Freshman Rhiannon Guffey and several of her friends tried to ride the shuttle to the Weber State game Saturday but were unable to find it.

“I don’t know if we missed it or it didn’t come,” Guffey said.
The group waited around Old Main for around half an hour before getting a ride from a couple going to the game, she said.

But Guffey said if she could find the shuttle in the future she would use it since it is cheaper than a taxi and walking to the TCC would take too long and be unsafe.

The preliminary results of the AdCat’s survey seem to correlate with Guffey’s views. According to Larik, 64 percent of students said having a free shuttle would influence their decision to attend games.

“If students hear about (the shuttle service) and find out about it, I definitely think a lot of students will take advantage of it,” said Larik. “We just have to make sure as many students as we possibly can get hear about it. Then it will be successful.”

Upcoming Games:

November 11 against Colorado at 7:30 pm
November 12 against Colorado State at 7:30 pm

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