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Coyotes launch ticket initiative to benefit nonprofit organizations

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Kevin Connauton, middle, celebrates his goal against the Dallas Stars with right wing Christian Fischer (36) and center Nick Cousins, right, during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. – When the Coyotes play the Los Angeles Kings in a split squad game at Gila River Arena on Tuesday night, the stands will be more crowded than they normally would be for a preseason contest.

That’s because the Coyotes gave away 10,000 tickets to registered youth hockey players, charities, military members and first responders.

To coincide with the giveaway, they’ve also launched a new initiative called Coyotes for a Cause.

“We saw this as a really fun way to get a lot of people in the building for our first preseason game and give back to people that really deserve it and people that serve the state and this country incredibly well,” Coyotes president and CEO Ahron Cohen told ArizonaSports.com.

Cohen said Arizona leads all NHL cities in the US in fastest growth of youth hockey participation. For the team’s sake and the community’s sake, the team wishes to invest in that growth even further.

“I’m hoping there’s another couple of Auston Matthewses sitting in the stands [Tuesday] that are going to look down and see some of our great players and go, ‘I want to be like them when I grow up,’” he said.

But just as youth hockey players aren’t the only ones to get free tickets on Tuesday, the preseason home opener is about more than just hockey. The team is launching its Coyotes for a Cause initiative, a program in which nonprofit organizations will benefit from ticket sales for select games in the month of November:

Nov. 17 vs. Boston – Military Night
Nov. 21 vs. Vegas – Tickets for Turkeys
Nov. 23 vs. Colorado – Tickets for Turkeys
Nov. 25 vs. Calgary – Hockey Fights Cancer

Those who purchase select individual tickets to those games will have $7 of their purchase go to a nonprofit organization, with the Coyotes matching that $7 for a total of $14 given. Cohen explained that research showed $7 can feed a family, resulting in the team’s mantra for this initiative: “You feed a family, we feed a family.”

Fans who wish to purchase these select tickets, which will start at $25 for the upper level and $55 for the lower level, can visit the Coyotes’ website or call 480-563-PUCK.

Additionally, fans who buy Coyotes for a Cause tickets can choose not to use them and instead donate them to the group that coincides with that night’s game.

The nonprofit that benefits from each of these games will be related to that night’s theme. For example, the nonprofit on Nov. 17 will likely be a military/veterans organization, and an organization serving the homeless will benefit from the “Tickets for Turkeys” games.

“A fundamental goal of mine is to positively impact our community,” Cohen said. “I’m preaching this to everybody in our company. This is an important pillar for us and we need to always find ways to give back.”

Longtime Valley sports executive Jerry Colangelo has been a mentor for Cohen – who took over as CEO in July – as well as for the team’s president of hockey operations and general manager, John Chayka. Cohen said Colangelo helped to encourage the virtue of giving back.

“We see ourselves as a community asset and really view everybody throughout this state – whether it’s Phoenix, down in Tucson, wherever – as stakeholders in this,” Cohen said. “We really view that as a great word of wisdom from [Colangelo] and that’s something that we take very seriously.”

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