The last time the Gulls played at Pechanga Arena was March of 2020. During the pandemic they played in Irvine at the Ducks training facility without anyone in the stands.
So, this has been a (far too) long time coming.
“I’m finally happy to say, as of today at 10:00 a.m. we are officially on sale again for tickets,” says Gulls President Matt Savant.
Yes,the Gulls finally got to sell seats to hockey games in San Diego.
This club has led the American Hockey League in attendance three of the last four years, averaging more than 9,000 fans a game. Now that America’s Finest Hockey Fans can get back in the building, they’re not wasting any time.
“Our fans have come out since year one, game one, and you never really knew what was going to happen when they went on sale today,” says Savant. “But, I just walked through the sales area and the phones are ringing loud. People are looking forward to it. They’re calling in and emailing in asking about season ticket packages. We’ve got some really fun events planned for this year. We know what our fans like so we’re trying to serve up what they’re looking for.”
The season starts in Ontario on October 16 and the home opener is Friday, October 22. It will be the all-too-fitting $2 Bud Light night. It’s just one of the many special events the Gulls are planning to welcome fans back to Pechanga Arena.
“There’s been such support and such a passion for our brand and our team that we always want to make sure that we give that respect back,” says Savant. “So, we want to make sure that the first game when people come back on the 22nd is full of what they remember. We’re going back to the Rally Towels, we’re going to have a laser show, we’ve got a DJ that we’re actually putting inside the stands. We want to welcome people back like we’re throwing a party because Gulls hockey is back and we’re excited.”
The caveat, of course, is these are indoor games with more than 1,000 people, making them “mega-events” in the eyes of the California Department of Public Health. That means the current guidelines require attendees to either show they’ve been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 in the last 72 hours.
The Gulls say they understand this is a polarizing topic but they will be following those guidelines, checking for vaccination or negative test proof, with masking optional to those in attendance. They’re making sure to convey that to anyone buying tickets and so far, it hasn’t had a negative impact on the numbers.
“I think it’s becoming more common that vaccines or testing or masks are part of our daily life right now,” says Savant. “No matter which side of the issue you stand on, it’s there. So, we’re going to embrace it and address it clearly with our fans and make sure everybody is aware and prepared and once they get in we’re going to do what we can to entertain them.”
On the entertainment docket are 13 promotional and theme nights, including a USA Gulls hat giveaway on Military Appreciation Night Nov. 6, a Simon Benoit Third Jersey Bobblehead giveaway for the Gulls Third Jersey Debut on Nov. 26, a Gulls Holiday Beanie giveaway during Winter Wonderland Night on Dec. 18, a Gulls Super Hero poster giveaway on Marvel Super Hero Night on Jan. 15, and a Gulls Deck of Playing Cards giveaway for Casino Night on Feb 19.
That’s all in addition to Heroes Night (Nov. 5), Pink In The Rink (Feb. 2), Hockey Is For Everyone (Feb. 5), Star Wars Night (Mar. 12), Community Night (Mar. 27), Hockey Fights Cancer (Apr. 2) and Fan Appreciation Night (Apr. 23).
To get in on the fun, visit www.sandiegogulls.com/tickets, call (844) GO GULLS, or visit the Pechanga Arena San Diego box office.