The Wenatchee Wild hockey team is entering its 15th season intending to Restore the Roar. The pandemic left the junior-level hockey team without a season in 2020. When they returned to the ice in 2021, restrictions still limited the pack and den.
Fans could not attend a game without proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test until near the end of the regular season. Head coach Chris Clark said, “I think it was hard on everyone. You could not go anywhere without some sort of restriction. I know that wears on people as it did our players. So not having any of those restrictions moving forward and getting back to normal – whatever that is – is exciting.” General manager Bliss Littler explains, that Restore the Roar is about creating excitement coming out of the Covid years. “We definitely want to get back to where we were three years ago. When we joined the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League) we lead the league in attendance the first two years”, he said.
To Restore the Roar the administrative staff have implemented new elements to make the in-game experience more memorable for all types of fans, said Littler. The kid zone is an area that is expanding, said senior sales and operation coordinator David Rayfield. It might even be hard to keep kids in seats when they see the new bouncy house, pop-a-shot, and x-box station, Rayfield explained. The coaching staff has also started to administer this new goal and slogan to the players and their established culture. “We talked about it, starting at our final camp in May. We are looking to get back to where we are accustomed being to”, Clark said. They will continue to communicate the expectations and goals as they meet players, he said.
The Wild Team will be back in the den at 7:05 pm on October 21st vs. West Kelowna to start the 15th season at home and to Restore the Roar. Littler suspects that they will be back to being one of the better teams in the league, he said. Clark agrees, “I am very excited about next year. I think we have a great nucleolus of guys coming back that are hungry and ready to get us back to where we are used to being” and “I expect Wild faithful to be loud and proud like they were pre-Covid,” he said.