Becoming a tradition isn't easy in the Ohio Valley. Merely existing for a long time isn't enough.
But the Wheeling Nailers professional hockey team has become a tradition. Both on the ice and in community involvement, the Nailers do not just play here; they are part of Wheeling.
During their last few home games of the season, the Nailers are expected to reach a milestone - 2.5 million fans in attendance at home games.
Think about that: That is an enormous amount of traffic brought to Wheeling, especially the downtown business district. Hockey fans who go to WesBanco Arena support both that important facility and the community in general. They patronize gas stations, restaurants, hotels and retail outlets.
In addition to being a tradition, then, the Nailers are an integral part of the local economy.
Congratulations to them! If you're interested in catching one of the last games of the regular season, the Nailers play at WesBanco at 7 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.