Commemorating The East End Arena Opening
However, something happened. I don’t know whether it was the holiday mood that came over me but I decided that I was not going to take a shot at anything in this BLOG. Rather I had a thought that just came to me right out of the blue that perhaps I could offer to help commemorate the occasion. It was such a strange feeling, just like the one that probably hit our Mayor in the Mall that day when he came up with his Youth Committee concept.
There is no doubt that a lot of people want to go to opening night of the Arena for a number of reasons. The main one is to be able to say that one was part of history in the making and that one attended the first game in the Arena. As the Star reported:
- “It took less than an hour for Thursday's first-ever Windsor Spitfires game at the WFCU Centre to sell out.”
Those lucky people who were able to get tickets including those who stood in line for about four hours will have a momento. Hopefully, the Arena people will not rip up the tickets as people enter but allow the fans to keep them whole as a souvenir.
I can imagine that many of the fans will put the tickets in plastic or under glass so that they will be preserved as a memory of this first night. What a nice keepsake to have and to be able to pass on to future generations in one’s family or, if one is not as sentimental, to offer for sale in some Sports Memorabilia show or on E-bay one day.
But what about the rest of us who are not as lucky to get tickets? What is there for us that we could put aside since, to be blunt about it, we are all paying for it through our taxes?
I wondered whether our Mayor and Councillors had had the opportunity to consider this matter knowing how busy they were with all of the important issues that they are dealing with. I doubted it and said to myself that it might have slipped through the cracks since different people might have thought that someone else was looking after this matter. The Mayor’s Office for example might have thought that Parks and Rec was dealing with this while that Department might have thought that it fell under the CAO’s bailiwick who might have thought that the Spitfires or Global Spectrum was responsible for the activity.
Do you see what I mean? I would hate to think that the event would take place and that nothing would happen. Imagine the embarrassment.
If I was right, then something had to be done and done quickly. Moreover, whatever it was that was going to be done had to reach the entire population of the City and give everyone the opportunity to have something special.
I thought about manufacturing pins or penants or flags with the Arena logo on it to give away to Windsorites. The logistics of being able to produce so many items and to be able to give them away within days meant that this was an impossibility.
Creation of something and distribution over the Internet seemed like a good idea except not everybody is online and not everybody has a printer that could produce something worthwhile to keep.
I was racking my brains trying to figure out what to do and the answer was there, right in my hands. It was the Windsor Star. While I know that not everybody subscribes to the Star, they do distribute a version of the Star to non-subscribers too and it is sold at so many retail outlets that just about everybody in the City would have access to it.
My idea was something along the lines of what the Ambassador Bridge does during the July 1 holiday weekend. What I thought about is the City creating a two-page spread in the middle of the Star that could be taken out and saved. It would be something dealing with the Arena obviously but I would let the Star advertising people figure out exactly what should be done. I was sure that they had plenty of photographs that could be used and they have the people who can create the copy since they are used to producing advertisements quickly.
I was certain that the Star, being the good corporate citizen that it was, would give the City a good rate for the two pages considering all the advertising that the City has given them this year along with that nice booklet they distributed across Canada. I figured that our Mayor could twist a few arms and probably get two pages in colour for about $10-$15,000.
Just as I was congratulating myself on this brilliant stratagem, I turned white and thought that this too was impossible to do. Council would need to approve the expenditure of money and I was not sure if they would all agree or even if they could get together quickly to reach a decision. Fortunately, I recalled something in the Procedural Bylaw that allowed decisions to be made by e-mail so I resolved that issue as well. I expected that there was some Committee that this should have gone to but I did not believe that, in this instance, any Councillor would dare bring up the matter of process as a stumbling block.
That is what I thought up. As I say, it just came to me but I thought it was a pretty good idea. I hereby assign this concept to the Mayor and Council and they can take the credit for it.
My expectation is that people would save the section. Not just sports fans either. I would think that lots of people would want to share this small piece of history with their families, their children and grandchildren every December.
Why, I can just see people pulling this paper out and pointing to it when appearing at Council as delegations when they are debating where they should construct the new replacement Arena 100 years from now.