It was five hours well spent inside the Peach concession for Penticton Vees president, GM and head coach Fred Harbinson.
During that time on Tuesday afternoon, the Vees sold the 30 season’s ticket memberships necessary to free Harbinson from the Peach.
Harbinson faced the spectre of being confined to the Peach – located on Okanagan Lake beach – for up to 48 hours if the goal of 30 season’s tickets wasn’t reached.
He had his overnight bag packed – just in case.
“The (ticket drive) created some buzz in the community and we actually sold a few more (on Wednesday),” said Harbinson, noting there is an excitement in the air with the BCHL team’s training camp just four days away.
He thanked Peach concession owner/operator Diana Stirling and the staff for their hospitality and allowing him to be part of the team. Harbinson helped serve blueberry shakes and other food items to customers.
He said the Vees players who came down to meet fans, as well as the staff and mascot Har-Vee who manned a tent outside the Peach, all did a terrific job.
“It ended up being a really fun day and we accomplished a lot of the things we set out to do,” said Harbinson.
He said the Vees now have 1,300 season’s ticket and club seats sold, as well as all the luxury suites at their home at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
The coach said he wants to “keep it rolling” and sell some more memberships before the home opener on Sept. 27 against West Kelowna.
“We set the average (attendance) record of 3,100 last year and we want to set the bar even higher,” said Harbinson. “We’re not going to get complacent.”
Harbinson said as training camp approaches on Monday, six Vees players – defencemen Ethan Martini and Conner Hutchison, and forwards Jack Barnes, David Silye, Calvin Hadley and Jackson Niedermayer – are already here and have been skating/scrimmaging regularly with a group in the evenings.
“We’ve got another group coming in on Friday and the rest will arrive on the weekend in time for the start of camp,” said Harbinson, noting everyone is healthy and ready going into the season. “It’s an exciting time of year and we can’t wait to get going.”