Tuesday, September 29, 2015

This is the letter I wish UNO had sent...

There's been a lot of controversy the last 72 hours about the date chosen for the upcoming season's season ticket pickup party. (It's the same night as the team is playing its first game of the 2015-16 season, on the road in Mankato.)

UNO sent out this letter (which most STH received yesterday):

After talking with Brian yesterday (in person; I was on campus anyway), I drafted the letter that I wish UNO had sent out instead. And I wish they had emailed it and posted it on social media in addition to sending it -- that way, they could have gotten some of the same feedback that I've been hearing from fans and you wouldn't have had a 4-day span between when some fans got the letter and when the rest of us -- including me -- got ours. (Feel free to post your comments below!)

Here's the letter I wish UNO had sent:

Dear (Your Name),
Can you believe it? The new hockey season is right around the corner!
One of our favorite preseason traditions is our annual season ticket pickup party.
This year, we're excited to hold the event in "Our House" -- Baxter Arena. Crews are putting the finishing touches on everything, and we can't wait for you to check out your new seats.
However, we do have some bad news. Unfortunately, due to some other events that are already scheduled at the arena, we must hold this year's party on Friday, Oct. 9. Wait, you're thinking -- isn't the team playing in Mankato on the 9th? Yes, and Taylor Swift is in concert at our "old digs," and the Lancers are in town ... It's less than ideal, but we spent many hours (days!) trying to figure out a different time, and we just couldn't find a date that worked for the team AND with the arena's availability. We could have had it at another location, but we felt it was more important to do the event at the arena. We know you're disappointed, and we hope you understand.
However, it's still going to be a PARTY! Starting at 5 p.m. on Oct. 9, you are invited to come sit in your seats, enjoy complimentary food and drinks, and watch the Mavs vs. Mavs game on the big screen with your fellow fans! (Park in the west parking lots and enter through the main entrance, which is on the south side of the building.)
We've also got a special gift for you too, in recognition of your season ticket holder status. For the past 8 months, the godfather of UNO hockey, Don Leahy, and sportswriter John Fey have been collaborating on a book about UNO hockey history. The new book isn't even available for sale yet, but you're going to get your own copy of "A Date With Destiny" (one per STH account), and you can even get it autographed by the authors on Oct. 9. Additional books can be purchased at the event for $10 each (while supplies last).
(Note: Because we're including the book as a gift, we're unable to mail out your season tickets as we have in years past, so call us at 402-554-2001 or email unotickets@unomaha.edu and we'll arrange a time for you to pick up your tickets if you can't make the party on Oct. 9.)
We know the kids look forward to meeting the players and getting autographs, and we promise we'll make that up to you with an autograph event at the arena at a later date.
Get ready to ‪#‎WearBlackGetLoud‬ because it will be "Hockey Time in Omaha" before you know it. I hope to see you at Baxter Arena on Oct. 9 -- and when we raise the banner and drop the puck at "Our House" on Oct. 23! Go Mavs!
Brian Logan
Director of Ticket Operations
UNO Athletic Department

Friday, September 25, 2015

Peeks Inside Baxter Arena

Jon and I haven't been inside Baxter Arena in months (we were there the Saturday after the first seat was installed), but we've been seeing sneak peeks from others who have been inside!

Here are some of the pictures from Twitter!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

2015-16 UNO Blue Line Club Luncheons

The schedule for the 2015-16 UNO Blue Line Club Luncheons has been released.

Here are the dates:
Friday, Oct. 23 (Parent's Weekend)
Saturday, Dec. 19
Friday, Jan. 8
Friday, Feb. 12
Friday, Feb. 19
Friday, Feb. 26 (Seniors)

The luncheons will be held at the Comfort Inn and Suites at 7007 Grover Street. The buffet opens at 11:30 a.m., with the program starting at 11:50 a.m. and ending at 12:45 p.m.

You can attend the luncheons for $25 each OR purchase a six-luncheon ticket package for $90. Unused tickets can be used at any future luncheons this season. (For example, you could use all six tickets at one luncheon.)

You can use the order form below to purchase a six-luncheon ticket book.

For more information, or if you have questions, contact Rich Buckingham at 402-468-5457.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Mike Kemp to Speak at Oct. 20 Shatel Lunch Series

Associate A.D. Mike Kemp
Mark your calendar: Tom Shatel will have UNO Associate Athletic Director Mike Kemp as his guest at the Omaha Press Club (top floor of the original First National Building, 16th & Dodge) on Oct. 20 from 12-1 p.m.

Mike Kemp, associate athletic director for the University of Nebraska at Omaha, will be the featured speaker at the Oct. 20 Shatel Lunch Series. It starts at noon and ends promptly at 1 p.m. Lunch will be served beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Kemp will talk about UNO athletics and what the move to Division I has meant to the school. He’ll also talk about the excitement surrounding the opening of the new Baxter Arena this year.
Kemp was head coach of the Maverick hockey team for 12 years before assuming his current position in 2009. He has primary oversight of UNO hockey and men's and women's soccer as well as facilities and game management.

As coach of the UNO hockey team, Kemp’s accomplishments included:

  • Concluding his coaching career with a record of 201-220-53;
  • Selling out 131 consecutive games at the Civic Auditorium;
  • Leading the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) in attendance with an average of 8,200 fans per game at the CenturyLink Center in 2003-04;
  • Making the team’s initial NCAA tournament appearance in 2005-06; and
  • Being named CCHA Coach of the Year in 2004-05 and being named a finalist for National Coach of the Year honors that year.

The Mavs’ first home hockey game will be Oct. 23 vs. Air Force. Season tickets are sold out in the 7,500-seat arena; a limited number of single game tickets are available for select series.

The men’s basketball team will open its season Nov. 13 against the University of California, Santa Barbara. Women’s basketball and volleyball games also will be played at Baxter Arena.

The Shatel Lunch Series is held on the third Tuesday of every month. Reservations can be made by calling 402-345-8008 and must be accompanied by an OPC member number or credit card for nonmembers. A 24-hour cancellation policy applies.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

#OldBulls: Where Are They Now? (2015 edition)

This post will serve as a roundup of what former UNO Hockey players are up to! (Have news on #oldbulls? Post in the comments below and we'll add it to the story!)

Ryan Walters (forward) was signed to the Utah Grizzlies for the 2015-16 season. This is his second season playing pro hockey after scoring 43 points in 46 games for the Alaska Aces on 20 goals and 23 assists last year. Walters had one goal and seven assists for eight points in 20 games for the AHL's Iowa Wild. Walters joins another #oldbull on the team: forward Brent Gwidt, who will start his fourth season with the Anaheim Ducks affiliate. (Fun fact: The Grizzlies play their home games at the "Maverik Center.")

Tony Turgeon (defenseman) will join the Manchester Monarchs (ECHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) for the 2015-16 season. Last year, Turgeon split time between the Allen Americans and the Cincinnati Cyclones, while also skating in the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage. Turgeon played three seasons with the Mavs before foregoing his senior season after signing a pro contract with the Florida Panthers.

Tom Kowal has been named head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Kowal is entering his fourth season with the Knights. He started as an assistant coach in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers (where he also played as a defenseman for two seasons) and Tri-City Storm before moving to the NAHL as an assistant coach with the Youngstown Phantoms. Kowal helped lead the Knights U16 American team to a AYHL Championship and the Junior A team to AJHL President Cup Championship. (Weirdly, Kowal's HockeyDB profile does not list his time with the Mavs. He was on the roster during the inaugural Mav season of 1997-98 and also played in the 1998-99 season.)