Unusual promotion

Vees GM/coach Fred Harbinson in the air-conditioned comfort of his office at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Things will be just peachy for Penticton Vees coach

The spectre of spending up to 48 hours locked inside The Peach concession on Okanagan Lake beach isn’t overly appealing for Fred Harbinson.

The Penticton Vees president, GM and head coach will be confined to the Peach starting Tuesday afternoon until the BCHL team reaches a goal of having 30 new season’s ticket memberships purchased for the 2019-20 hockey season.

Harbinson said there is a 48-hour timeline for the promotion during which he will only be “released” for bathroom breaks.

“I’ve been here 12 years now so there are probably a few who would like to keep me in (the Peach),” quipped Harbinson. “I sure hope some fans will come down to buy some tickets and help me out. It’s pretty hot in there … if any local businesses are thinking about getting a (ticket membership), hopefully this will encourage them to come down and get me out of there.”

The event starts at noon at 185 Lakeshore Dr. and fans can come down and meet some of the new and returning Vees players and enjoy some Vees “blueberry crazy shakes.”

Vouchers will also be sold for the Vees regular-season home opener Friday, Sept. 27 versus West Kelowna Warriors, Vees mascot Har-Vee will be on hand and there will also be live radio remote of the proceedings.

Harbinson said the ticket memberships include four pre-season, 28 regular-season and all playoff home games at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

“We’ve done a great job of keeping the price point affordable for the most,” said Harbinson, noting the season’s tickets range in price from $353 to $403 and monthly payment plans are available.

“We’re hoping the community can help us reach our goal. Anything you can do — even getting together with friends and sharing a (membership) — would be greatly appreciated.”

Harbinson said ticket sales have been solid, with 800 season’s passes, club seats increasing to 400 this year, and all luxury suites are renewed.

“We’re close to 1,500 when all is said and done,” Harbinson noted.

The Vees had a record 3,100 average attendance last year, with the coach noting that is a big part of why top players like to come to Penticton.

“I think there is a lot of excitement about the team we’re building for this season,” said Harbinson. “We’re going to be fast, skilled and aggressive up and down the lineup.”

Off the ice, the Vees donated $28,000 to the Community Heroes charity program, which they hope to emulate or eclipse this season.

“There are so many positive things going on with the hockey club,” Harbinson said. “We want as many people as possible to come out and be a part of it.”