WHEELING - Taking a page out of the book of the parent Pittsburgh Penguins, the Wheeling Nailers are starting a "Ticket Exchange Program" during the 2013-14 season.
What that means, is season ticket holders who may not be able to make a particular game will be able to trade those tickets in and receive tickets of equal or lesser value to a future game of their choice. The catch is, you must do this at least 48 hours before the game and then choose your alternate game at the time of exchange.
The traded-in tickets will then be re-sold by the Nailers, helping to ensure that more seats are filled on a nightly basis.
"I feel the new ticket exchange program will give our season ticket holders more flexibility on games throughout the year,'' Paul Melanko, the team's director of ticket sales, said. "This program also gives us the chance to re-sell that unused ticket to the general public, which could better enhance their game experience.''
Season ticket holders who miss a game or the 48-hour window to exchange, the Nailers will offer two redemption nights throughout the season. Any unused tickets will be eligible for exchange for those two games.
Nobody asked me, but I think this is a tremendous idea. Not only does it provide flexibility, but it prevents tickets from going unused and seats being empty.
Ring 'Em Up
While waiting for my weekly men's basketball game to be played Monday at the YMCA in Elm Grove, I got a chance to talk to the facility's program director, Adam Shinsky. Boy, did he have a funny story to pass along.
A former hoops standout at Bishop Donahue and now a well-known area referee, Shinsky was recently officiating an AAU tournament in Pittsburgh when a coach became unruly and demonstrative toward a first-year member of Shinsky's crew. After this had gone on for a while, Shinsky finally had enough and rang the coach up with a technical.
This particular coach was particularly impressed that Shinsky had the "gumption" to make that call and eventually simmered down - for a while. When the coach started again, Shinsky told him something to the effect of "I could throw you out right now, and went on to tell the him that if he thought it was so easy, the coach should go to his local board, take the officiating course and give it a try."
After the game the coach approached Shinsky and reiterated that he was impressed with the guts it took to make that call, and that he indeed believe he could call a game with little problem. That was right before the coach informed Shinsky that he had to hop on a flight to New York to work the Knicks-Celtics playoff game.
The coach's name? NBA referee Scott Foster.
Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org