by Doug Miller on 09/08/11 at 08:00 PM ET
Alright citizens of Hockeytown, it’s time to start getting exciting for Saturday’s upcoming HockeyFest! As well as my plans for coverage of said event. Anyway, do continue reading on to hear all the details about the many fun and exciting events going on this Saturday at the Joe Louis Arena.
Before we get into that though, given the recent news of the tragedy in Russia, I’d like to take a quick moment of silence for all of those that lost their lives in that tragic plane crash, which hit far too close to home for many of us Wings fans.
However, life goes on, and while we can and should mourn the loss of their untimely deaths, we must continue on with our own lives.
It’s time to start getting excited about this Saturday’s upcoming HockeyFest, which looks like it’s going to be an absolute blast for all of those in attendance. Let me run down all of the day’s activates before I get into my planned coverage.
This normally isn’t in my nature, but since I’m under a tight and hectic schedule to get my EA Sports NHL 12 review done by early Tuesday morning, I’m going to be going rather quote heavy from the official HockeyFest 2011 webpage on the Detroit Red Wings website.
First up, players and alumni scheduled to be in attendance.
Current Players attending HockeyFest
From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. *
From 2:30-5:30 p.m. *
*Editorial Note - These are not these players scheduled autograph times, as those will remain unknown, and will not be announced, leading to a bit of a “treasure hunt” style game for fans trying to get certain player autographs.
Alumni attending HockeyFest
11:30-12:30 Dino Ciccarelli & Nick Libett
12:30-1:30 Brent Fedyk & Eddie Mio
1:30-2:30 Manny Legace & Jason Woolley
2:30-3:30 Dennis Hextall
3:30-4:30 John Ogrodnick
4:30-5:30 Jason Woolley
Living Legends Q&A Session 2:30-3:00
Next up, some additional information and guidelines regarding autographs.
Fans at HockeyFest are not guaranteed a player or alumni autograph with the purchase of their ticket. However, in order to accommodate as many autograph requests as possible, we ask that you please adhere to the following guidelines while at this event:
1. Upon entering HockeyFest, every fan will receive a commemorative ticket and lanyard that will allow you to gain access to any autograph line of your choosing.
2. Autograph lines will be located throughout the concourse of Joe Louis Arena and will be open to all fans at the event. Current Wings’ players and Alumni will be signing from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
3. All Autograph sessions will be conducted on a “first come, first served” basis. Autograph schedules will also not be announced in advance.
4. Participation of specific players and Alumni will be posted online as they become available, however they are subject to change without notice.
5. At least one Red Wings’ player or Alumni will be in attendance at each autograph station throughout HockeyFest (11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.) and will be scheduled to sign for approximately 1-2 hour sessions.
6. There will be separate, clearly marked lines for current players and Alumni to ensure a fan will know going into a line which type of autograph to expect when they reach the front.
7. All personalities will be instructed to sign only one item per person (excluding Gold Ticket members). We will ask you to please have your selected item ready to be autographed, as your cooperation will expedite the flow through each line.
8. Posed photographs with players or Alumni will not be allowed at autograph stations.
9. Players and Alumni at each table will change either every hour or second hour. Thus, fans are not guaranteed the autograph of the specific person who was signing when the fan entered the autograph line.
10. Near the end of each hour or two hour session, the line will be temporarily halted in order to place a new player or alumni at each open station. The line will then resume movement as normal once that individual is in place.
11. Autograph lines will be temporarily closed once they reach capacity. If this occurs, fans will be directed to other autograph areas or HockeyFest activities throughout Joe Louis Arena. Fans will not be allowed to “wait” in the area for an autograph line to re-open. The Red Wings appreciate your cooperation with this policy.
12. Fans in need of special assistance to participate in the autograph line process should ask a guest service representative, crowd manager or autograph volunteer for assistance.
13. The Red Wings reserve the right to deny any item inappropriate for signature.
Now with that technical stuff out of the way, lets run down all of the awesome activates going on at HockeyFest this year.
Locker Room Tour: This has been a fan favorite activity during the past years of HockeyFest. Fans don’t often get to see into their favorite team’s locker room, but at this event they get that opportunity. Take a walk through the room where your Red Wings prepare for every home game at the Joe.
Photo Opportunities: There will be unique places around The Joe of which to get your picture taken with, including but are not limited to:
- 2008 Stanley Cup Championship Banner
- Official Red Wings’ Zamboni
- Red Wings Locker Room
- Al the Octopus
For all of these photo opportunities we ask that you please bring your own camera with you as we will not have photo services in place for them.
Interactive Zones: Various hockey interactive games will be placed on the covered ice and around the concourse for fans to line up and take turns playing. Examples include: Precision Passing, Dangle Zone, Hardest Shot, Electronic Top Shot Net, etc. Players will show up from time-to-time and play alongside the fans, either instructing them on technique or challenging them to a match.
Each participant will also receive a unique card that will allow them to track their progress in the interactive games and later go online to see how they did when compared to other fans at HockeyFest and even their favorite Red Wings’ players.
NOTE: This is not a time for player autographs, this is a time for children and other fans to interact with the players and get the chance to talk with them one-on-one.
Main Stage Discussions
A stage will be set up on the covered ice and fans will be able to sit in the lower level and upper level sections near that stage to listen to all of the discussions.
Players, alumni and staff will be scheduled for various discussions and Q&A sessions with the fans. These discussions are lead by a host such as Ken Kal, Ken Daniels, Mickey Redmond or other sports tv/radio personality. Here is a list of potential topics:
Fan Press Conference – Fans become the reporter and as questions of the players.
Kid Conference – Similar to the above, except only kids can ask the questions.
Welcome to Hockeytown – Talking with any new/drafted players who may have been acquired over the summer.
Living Legends – A discussion with alumni talking about hockey past, present and future.
The CC Olympia Club
In addition to the main stage discussions, the CC Olympia Club will be utilized for mini-breakout sessions. The following are potential topics that you may see:
Hockey 101 – For those that come to Red Wings games but aren’t quite sure on how the game is played or what icing is, this class will go through it all.
Kids Corner – Players read hockey themed books to kids who gather around on the floor.
Equipment Instruction – A class for parents to learn what equipment to get their kids whether they are just starting or are well into their career.
A Job in Sports – For those who are interested in a career in sports this discussion with a panel of Red Wings professionals in marketing, sales, public relations, new media will give some insight of what steps to take.
Our company archivist comes in and sets up display cases with an array of memorabilia dating back from the beginning of the franchise. Anything from jerseys, to equipment to ticket stubs can be found in this collection. These cases will be located around the concourse for fans to look back on the history and tradition of their favorite Hockey team.
Finally, the last of the quotes from the HockeyFest webpage, some FAQs.
Am I guaranteed an autograph at HockeyFest?
Fans are not guaranteed a player or Alumni autograph with the purchase of their HockeyFest ticket. However, a set of guidelines has been posted and will be reiterated during the event to expedite the flow of each line.
How many items can I have autographed?
Each fan is allowed one (1) item to be autographed per player or Alumni. You are welcome to bring different items for different players, but only one thing can be put in front of each person. Also, our merchandise stands will be open throughout the Joe to purchase something to be autographed if you forget to bring an item.
How do I know what players will be attending?
A list of players, Alumni and any other personalities will be posted under the “Activities Schedule” on our HockeyFest portion of the website. That list will be available one week prior to the event and updated as more are announced.
Where should I park?
Parking will be available in the RiverFront lot for $5 per vehicle, with overflow parking in the garage. The RiverFront lot is located on the west side of Joe Louis Arena, across the street from the Olympia Club Entrance and box office.
Can I bring my camera?
Yes, cameras are encouraged. There will be multiple photo opportunities throughout HockeyFest such as the locker room tour, Zamboni and 2008 championship banner that you will need your own camera for.
Cameras however, are not permitted within autograph lines for posed photographs with players. Those lines are designated for autographs only. Your cooperation will help expedite the flow of each line.
Will there be ice skating at HockeyFest?
There will not be ice skating during this event. The ice will be covered to make room for our many interactive hockey games, Q&A sessions with the players and various photo opportunities.
Will there be food available?
Yes, our concessions stands will be open throughout The Joe to purchase food during HockeyFest.
How do I purchase tickets to HockeyFest?
Simply click HERE and you will be directed to Ticketmaster where you can purchase your tickets.
What if I have a question that is not listed?
For all other questions about HockeyFest please call 313-396-7575.
Alright, now with all that taken care of, let me talk about my plans for coverage.
My initial plan of bringing along a laptop to update to my blog throughout the day of the event, has been shot down. I am still allowed to bring a laptop along, but since there will be no areas setup to properly use it, it will pretty much be useless.
As an alternative, I’ve thought up a plan that would still work to some limited extent. I can update to my Twitter account ( @dougmiller37 ) throughout the day. At the moment, Alanah is working on the coding to embed a Twitter widget into Saturday’s blog post, so that my feed of updates can be found included in that blog post, for some live “on-site” coverage.
Just don’t expect any media in Saturday’s coverage, as I’ll be using my digital camera for all of that, as those batteries can be changed throughout the day, where as my cell phone will be at the mercy of its own limited battery life, and will only be used for Twitter updates, to conserve battery life.
However, no matter what ends up happening with Saturday’s coverage, you can still expect a full recap of HockeyFest 2011 sometime late Sunday morning, which will be full of a ton of media as well as extensive write ups covering the day’s events and activities.
That is it for the HockeyFest Preview. I’ll be back tomorrow with a special announcement regarding the EA Sports Hockey League in NHL 12 and Kukla’s Korner. So stay tuned.
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