CN Rail has bought every seat in the house for the Prince George Cougars' Family Day home game against the Red Deer Rebels, and they're giving them away free to the public.
The free game will be a celebration of CN Rail's 100th anniversary, Cougars vice president Andy Beesley said. Tickets for the free game are available now at www.ticketsnorth.ca, using the promo code "CNRAIL100" or at the TicketsNorth Box Office located in CN Centre. There is a limit of six tickets per order, and Beesley said the public should act quickly to get their tickets because he expects them to go fast.
"We know CN Rail has set aside 1,000 tickets for CN employees... and there are a large number of CN retirees in the area as well who'll want to come," Beesley said. "To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a WHL game that was free to the public. The Cougars are looking forward to a full building where collectively we can celebrate together and enjoy a great hockey game as well."
As it turned out, all tickets were disbursed in four hours.
The game starts at 2 p.m. on Feb. 17 at CN Centre, and there will be plenty for families to do before and after the game, he added.
"CN Rail's miniature train, called Little Obie, will be providing free rides in the parking lot from 11:30 (a.m.) until game time. It's very, very cool," Beesley said. "We've partnered with CN Centre... to hold a free public skate following the game. We encourage the public to bring their skates."
The Prince George Cougars players will join the public on the ice during the one-hour free skate following the game.
"It was very important for them (CN Rail) that there be a charity component to the game," Beesley said. "The charity partner is the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation."
The proceeds of the chuck-a-puck contest will be donated to the foundation, Beesley said, and the Cougars are in the process of planning other fundraising activities around the game.
Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation CEO Judy Neiser said the funds raised during the Family Day events will go towards the foundation's Spirit of Healthy Kids program. The regional, school-based program promotes the importance of physical activity, reading, healthy living and being positive role models and citizens.
"We feel any funding to support health care is a good thing," Neiser said. "(The funding) will really help strengthen the program over time."
CN Rail was created as a Crown corporation on June 6, 1919 and became a private corporation in 1995.
"CN has deep roots in northern British Columbia and we are proud to partner with the Prince George Cougars for the Family Day game," CN vice president Fiona Murray said in a press release. "CN wishes all who will attend a safe and fun game. Go Cougars!"