Heat forge ahead with school day game, despite looming teachers’ strike

The impending teacher's strike next week represents a curveball for the Abbotsford Heat, but the team is adjusting on the fly.

The impending teachers’ strike next week represents an organizational curveball for the Abbotsford Heat, whose inaugural school day game is set for Tuesday morning.

The game, with its unconventional 10:30 a.m. start time, has been in the works since the American Hockey League schedule was set last August. It’s modeled after successful initiatives run by other AHL clubs, where hockey teams and local school districts partner on developing a curriculum supplement, then bus in thousands of kids to the rink to watch a game as a field trip.

The Heat had been expecting upwards of 4,300 middle school students for Tuesday’s tilt with the Houston Aeros. But with teachers preparing to strike for three days (Monday to Wednesday) as their dispute with the provincial government continues, the plans for a teacher-led field trip are out the window.

But like a good hockey team, the Heat’s off-ice staff have had to be adept at changing on the fly. They’re expanding the game into an all-day affair, and extending the $10 ticket price for middle school students to fans of all ages. Adults who attend with four kids will be admitted free.

The Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre will open at 9:30 a.m. and will remain open until 3 p.m., essentially an entire school day. The team is scheduling a variety of post-game activities for the youth and supervising adults in attendance, including a player meet-and-greet, arts and crafts, and a movie on the jumbotron.

“Some things are just out of our control,” Heat president Ryan Walter acknowledged with a wry grin. “So in Heatville, we’ve got to keep finding solutions. I’m really proud of my team on this one.

“We think we can reach our objectives a different way. This could be our biggest walk-up (crowd) ever.”

Just Posted

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

UPDATE: Rockslide keeps Coquihalla northbound lane closed

Highway 5 is closed in one direction.

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

UPDATE: Wind warning ends for Metro Vancouver after thousands lose power

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

Guilty plea issued in case where man, 86, was assaulted and robbed

Hughie Stump pleads guilty to break-and-enter in relation to Abbotsford incident

VIDEO: Mission City Indoor Farmers Market returns

Market kicks off 2018 schedule on Saturday

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Justice group, fellow trustee, defending B.C. school trustee

Chilliwack school trustee facing increasing pressure to resign over LGBTQ beliefs

Giants, Rivermen on the NHL radar

Vancouver leads all WHL teams with five players on NHL Central Scouting list

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

A new development surrounding plane that went missing around Revelstoke in November

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

Most Read