Thursday, May 14, 2015

When UNO Started the Stampede...and Bridget Staffed the Civic With Volunteers

By Jon Brooks

On May 11, 2000, the UNO and the UNO Hockey Blue Line Club announced they were going to hold an early season hockey tournament called the Maverick Stampede.

The tournament offered an opportunity to start off the hockey season in style, and featured a mix of foes from around college hockey.

The UNO Hockey Blue Line Club entered into a contractual agreement with the university to co-sponsor the event with the opportunity to "earn" money for the BLC. In order to increase revenue potential, the typical "paid" game staff (ticket takers, ushers, door monitors) were replaced for the weekend with volunteers.

Bridget and I served on the Stampede committee (which featured a variety of potential organizers and sponsors for the event). What started out as a group of roughly 30 people soon dwindled into a core group of about 10 people.

Bridget was charged with finding 50 volunteers to handle those positions during each of the four Stampede games that weekend.

That was not an easy task, and it was especially hard given the fact that a number of volunteers were paying season ticket holders who would have preferred to watch the games from the comfort of their blue plastic seat.

Finding people willing to do just that was a difficult job in itself for Bridget Weide, who coordinated the UNO Hockey Blue Line Club's effort to round up volunteers who will serve as ushers, ticket-takers and in various other support roles at the auditorium Friday and Saturday nights.

"These are people," Weide said, "who are kindly and generously donating their time." -- Omaha World-Herald, Oct. 9, 2000.

Not only did her efforts help save the program money both nights, it was an opportunity for us to lend a helping hand during the games.

The following Spring, Bridget was named "Blue Line Club Volunteer of the Year" at the program's annual postseason awards banquet.

They only staffed the Stampede with volunteers during the first two seasons.

Today, the Maverick Stampede seems like a distant memory (the 2011-12 season was the last time the event was held).

I enjoyed having the event in the lineup. It served as a great opportunity to see programs we don't normally get to watch in Omaha.

One aspect of UNO's tenure in the CCHA that made the Stampede possible was that Alaska-Fairbanks was their travel partner, and playing two games in Alaska each season allowed the program to play an additional pair of games each season (beyond the NCAA limit).

Perhaps now that UNO is moving into their own arena there will be an opportunity in the future to bring the Stampede some way, shape, or form...

P.S. -- The 2000 Stampede is where the team unveiled their "uber-cool" silver third jersey.

The "Silver Bullet" Jersey

1 comment:

  1. I remember John and I had a lot of fun helping "run" the Civic that weekend!