Erie, Pennsylvania – Bigger and better – that’s the mantra for the Erie Otters on the ice in 2022-23, but also the organization’s approach to the forthcoming season’s Promotional Schedule.
After an all-but-normal season in 2021-22, the Otters are thrilled for normality to return, and for a season of celebration, honoring, and all-new fun. From the return of fan-favorite promotions, to new and unique nights never before done in Erie, this season truly has something to fit everyone’s taste. Lead by Senior Vice President of Business Operations Chad Westerburg, the Marketing and Promotions team of the Otters worked to craft a schedule to commemorate the season ahead.
“We are thrilled to enter our 26th season of Otters hockey. Fans should expect new promotions and more exciting giveaways than ever before. We want to create an environment that is entertaining and exciting for fans to not only watch competitive hockey, but to have fun while being at Erie Insurance Arena. Between bigger giveaways, special character appearances, new promotional nights, and bands, there will be something here for everyone this season.” said Westerburg, “We can’t wait for the puck to drop on October 8th.”
Get your personal planner out, find your favorite nights, and get ready for the 26th Season of Erie Otters Hockey in style.
After four games on the road to start the year, the 26th Home Opener in Erie Otters history takes place at 7:00 P.M. on Saturday, October 8. Hours before doors open and the Otters take the ice, the organization will return to the tradition of a home-opener pregame party in the promenade in front of the Erie Insurance Arena, featuring live music (artist[s] TBA), vendors, and more! This mini festival will be free and open to the public, with more information to be announced in the coming weeks. When doors open at 6:00 P.M., fans will be welcomed back to home ice for the 26th home-opening time in Erie Otters history, as the rival London Knights come to town.
A fan-favorite promotional day from the 2021-22 season returns on Friday nights, starting on Friday, October 14 as the Otters welcome back Happy Hour & College ID Nights. From doors (6:00 P.M.) until the halfway-mark of the first period, fans will be able to enjoy $2 Bud Light (courtesy of Erie Beer Company) at the Bud Light Lounge. Class is in session for college students, as those attending university (with valid ID) will have access to discounted-rate tickets for every Friday game! The first Happy Hour/College ID Night also kicks off with a Magnetic Schedule Giveaway (pres. by Harrell Automotive) for the first 1500 fans through the doors. Friday games in October are on 10/14 & 10/21.
Let’s get Tropical! Saturday, October 15 is one last celebration of the summer sun and lazy days on the beach for Tiki Luau Night. This beachside game day will include an Otters Beach Towel giveaway (pres. by Rebich Investments) for the first 1000 fans, specialty tropical-inspired warm up jerseys, and drink specials all night. Don’t let that sunburn fade just yet!
Who let the dogs out?! On Saturday, October 22 the dogs are barkin’ for Pucks & Paws Night (pres. by PNC Bank). Man’s best friend will provide a howlin’ good night of fun with small dog races on the ice, and a collapsible dog bowl giveaway for the first 1000 fans through the door. Sit, stay, and cheer loud for the return of a tail-waggin’ good time.
Abra, Kadraba, Alakazam! For the second year in a row, we’re bringing the wonderful world of Wizardry Night to the EIA on Saturday, October 29. Come out and see your favorite magical characters from different franchises, dress up as your favorite witch or wizard for the costume contest, and prepare to be spellbound. Magic is about more than spells though – the Otters are hosting their second-annual Sock Toss during the night to help those in our community as the temperatures begin to dip. Fans are encouraged to bring new, packaged men’s, women’s, and children’s socks to toss on the ice during the first intermission. Magic is in the air on the Halloweekend!
Before the trick-or-treating begins, the Otters invite the whole family out on Sunday, October 30 for Sunday Family Funday! This Halloween-edition of the popular promotion from 2021-22 will feature a post-game trick-or-treat around the concourse (while meeting-and-greeting your favorite Otter players!) as well as an in-game costume contest for the kiddos. Sunday Family Fundays will once again feature free pop and popcorn for the first 500 kids.
With the holiday season quickly approaching as the calendar turns to November, a month of charitable works and tributes awaits. It all kicks off on Saturday, November 5 for Military Appreciation Night (pres. by UPMC Health Plan & UPMC Hamot). Taking place prior to National Veterans Awareness Week, the Otters will stand and salute the brave military men & women who have fought for our freedoms. The most attended game of the season in 2021, this is your opportunity to give thanks to those who fought for freedom.
For the first time in any sport at any level, a game dedicated to National Children & Teens’ Grief Awareness Month will take place on Friday, November 18 as the Otters host the inaugural Children’s Grief Awareness Night (pres. by Highmark Caring Place). Children’s Grief Awareness Day, which takes place on the third Thursday of November annually, was founded by Highmark Caring Place in 2008, and has been a fixture of their mission ever since. As a Friday game, from doors (6:00 P.M.) until the halfway-mark of the first period, fans will be able to enjoy $2 Bud Light at the Bud Light Lounge. Class is in session for college students, as those attending university (with valid ID) will have access to discounted-rate tickets!
“Nobody’s taking Meredith Palmer to the opera to meet the queen”, but on Saturday, November 19 we celebrate everyone’s favorite American Workplace sitcom with Kate Flannery for Office Tribute Night (pres. by Printing Concepts)! With an exclusive meet-and-greet ticket package and photo opportunities with Kate, a “World’s Best Hockey Fan” coffee mug giveaway for the first 1000 fans, and so much more fun from your favorite show to stream, you won’t want to miss this night out of the Office. Stay tuned on Otters social media for information on limited-run packages.
The best holiday tradition in Erie returns for its 47th year, as the Otters host hockey on Thanksgiving evening at 7:00 P.M. on Thursday, November 24. Get your fix of turkey in the afternoon with your family, and then partake in hot dogs and hockey for the evening with your folks. For the second-straight year, the Otters will host the Soo Greyhounds for the only time in the season on Thanksgiving.
Holiday tradition continues after Black Friday, as Saturday, November 26 at 7:00 P.M. welcomes back the 13th Annual Teddy Bear Toss. Stock up on those teddy bears early, and be ready to litter the ice after the Otters score their first goal of the night. All teddy bears will be collected, cleaned, dried, and given to children in need in the Erie community during the holiday season.
November closes out on the last day of the month on Wednesday the 30th, where the Otters and United Way of Erie County team up for Imagination Library Night (pres. by United Way of Erie County). This game will serve as the kickoff to the ‘Month of Million’ for the United Way of Erie County’s Imagination Library program, which will deliver its one-millionth free book to an Erie child in December.
The final month of the year kicks off on Saturday, December 3 for Otto’s birthday celebration in the fan-favorite Mascot Mania (pres. by Chick-fil-A). Otto’s friends from all around the Tri-States will be out for photos, games on the ice, and general wackiness around the arena. This night of hilarity will be a delight for the whole family!
Cheers to that! 2022’s final Happy Hour & College ID Night is Friday, December 9 – and will be part of Small Business Night. From doors (6:00 P.M.) until the halfway-mark of the first period, fans will be able to enjoy $2 Bud Light at the Bud Light Lounge. Around the concourse, local small businesses and vendors will be set up selling items, wares, and opportunities ahead of the holiday season. You have no excuse not to get a gift for that special someone. Class is in session for college students, as those attending university (with valid ID) will have access to discounted-rate tickets!
A celebration of the 20 year (2002) and five year (2017) anniversaries of the Otters’ J. Ross Robertson Cup victories comes on Saturday, December 10 for Night of Champions! To commemorate the team’s two Ontario Hockey League championships, members of the 2002/2017 Otters will be in attendance for meet-and-greets, photo opportunities, and to talk about their fond memories. In an even more exclusive memento, the first 1000 fans through the door will receive a championship captains Brad Boyes & Dylan Strome Dual Bobblehead holding the J. Ross Robertson Cups (pres. by Rebich Investments). There’s no better night to send us into the home holiday break than one you’ll never forget.
The countdown begins! Step aside ABC, because the true New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (pres. by J&B Lawn Care) will be downtown Erie on Saturday, December 31. A special 6:00 P.M. start time kicks off a night that features our first Specialty Jersey of the season – and we’re blacking out for New Year’s. Get the party started with live music in the concourse, a photo booth for you and your friends, and so much more fun to say goodbye to 2022!
The holiday season extends into the new year! In the first home game of 2023 on Saturday, January 7, the EIA becomes a Winter Wonderland for the Night. Grab those ugly sweaters and practice your caroling, because the night will be a post-holiday hoot! Prior to the game, the first 1000 fans in the door receiving a limited-edition Otters Snow Globe (pres. by Rebich Investments). What a gift!
The first Sunday Family Funday of 2023 closes out the weekend on Sunday, January 8. In the second Sunday of the season, the first 1000 fans through the door will receive a 2022-23 Otters Team Card Set (pres. by Highmark / AHN St. Vincent), with a post-game autograph signing allowing for cards to be signed. As well, free pop and popcorn for the first 500 kids.
All hopped up on crafts! Thursday, January 12 is the return of the long-anticipated Hops & Hockey Night! With craft beer tasting (for fans 21+) and Thirsty Thursday specials around the arena, this weekday game will wet your weekend whistle before the long weekend.
Calling all timbits, mites, midget, bantam, and amateur hockey players! On Saturday, January 14 we celebrate future Otters for Youth Hockey Night. With half-ice games and shootouts during intermissions, a Jersey Lunch Bag giveaway (pres. by Rebich Investments) for the first 1000 fans, and a night of the present and future of hockey, this will be the best outing for all the regions teams.
The kickoff to our Black History Month commemoration! On Monday, January 16 at 2:00 P.M., the Otters host the 2nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Game. With an afternoon start time, the Otters will unveil the programs that February will hold for Black History Month – including a very special warm up jersey. This game will once again feature the elevation of an up-and-coming Black Play-by-Play Broadcaster to call the game for OHL Live on CHL TV.
Dropping the mitts to fight for a cause! In collaboration with UPMC, Hockey Fights Cancer (pres. by UPMC Health Plan & UPMC Hamot) at 7:00 P.M. on Saturday, January 28. The Otters will be adorned in Cancer Awareness specialty jerseys to benefit the Hamot Health Foundation. Saturday’s game will also be the kickoff to UPMC’s Member Appreciation Weekend – all members of the UPMC Health Plan, keep your eyes out in January for your voucher for two free tickets to the weekends games.
Member Appreciation Weekend and the month of January close out on Sunday, January 29 for a Sunday Family Funday. After the game, fans are invited to come down to the ice for an exclusive post-game skate at the EIA.
School is back in session in February! On the morning of Thursday, February 2 school’s out for the Otters for the School Day Game (pres. by UPMC Health Plan & UPMC Hamot). Students will have the chance to learn more about the Otters, hockey, and the science and math behind the game with our Education Packets. On the ice, educational entertainment will delight and teach students of all ages.
The Force is strong with these fans! The always-popular Star Wars Night returns once again on Saturday, February 4 – with the London ‘Knights of Ren’ coming to town. This is the second-straight season of Erie and London playing on Star Wars Night. All around the concourse, fan favorite characters from the Star Wars saga will be in attendance for photo opportunities, and in-game, plenty of intergalactic fun will be had.
Are ya ready kids?! One of the most popular promotions of the entire 2021-22 season is back and bigger than before – it’s our Kids Takeover Game (pres. by Wendy’s) on Saturday, February 25. This year’s edition of the youth-revolution will once again host kids of all ages taking over the jobs of game night – from Junior Public Address Announcer to our Kids’ Coaching Staff, and all the mayhem in between. The 2023 Kids Takeover will also feature a Specialty Jersey designed by local kids, which will be worn by the Otters during the game. Proceeds from the post-game jersey auction will benefit the United Way of Erie County’s Imagination Library. The first 1000 fans through the door will also receive an Otters Coin Bank (pres. by Rebich Investments). If you thought last season was fun, wait to see what the kids are cooking this season.
February – and as such, Black History Month – comes to a close Tuesday, February 28 for our inaugural Black Ice Night (pres. by Erie’s Black Wall Street). Once more, the Otters will take the ice in their specialty warmup jerseys honoring and celebrating Black history and culture. This night specifically will work as a celebration of the barriers broken in Erie and in the game of hockey, and as a promise to continue to push the envelope for change for the future. More on this night is to be announced.
The final month of the OHL regular season marches into Erie on Saturday, March 4. After long anticipation, desire, and hope from hockey fans of Erie-past, the long-awaited Throwback Night is here. For one-night-only, the Erie Blades will be back with a Specialty Jersey to be worn during the game matching the black-and-orange adorned Blades of old. For the collectors, a replica Erie Blades Mini Locker (pres. by Rebich Investments) will be given away to the first 1000 fans through the door. Hockey’s history runs deep in Erie, and the Otters are honored to bring back the Blades.
There’s no bigger party in Erie than that of a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, and while the Otters may not play on the day of the holiday, the team will still celebrate in style on Saturday, March 11. Wear your green garb after the annual parade, and get ready for a night of fun downtown – before your night of fun downtown!
On Wednesday, March 15 at 6:35 P.M., it’ll pay to be a winner! This weeknight game will be a Winning Wednesday – if the Otters win, all fans receive a free ticket to Wednesday, March 22’s game.
Honoring those who Protect & Serve! On Saturday, March 18 we honor the real heroes of our community for Hometown Heroes Night (pres. by Plyler Entry Systems). This year’s edition will feature the return of the long-beloved Boots & Badges Game, where Erie Police and Erie Fire will battle for First Responder supremacy! While we honor the heroes of Erie County and beyond, superheroes will also be in-and-around the arena to delight kids of all ages. It truly will be a super night.
This ones for you, Ladies! On Wednesday, March 22 the Otters host their 2nd Annual Women’s Empowerment Night. As an organization with a long history of strong, empowered women leading the way, the Otters are thrilled to encourage and teach the next generation of women professionals. Leading up to the game, the Otters will host a Women in Hockey webinar, and give aspiring sports professionals the chance to learn about the paths taken by the pros.
All good things must come to an end, and on Saturday, March 25 the final regular season game occurs for Fan Appreciation Night. Care to buy a vowel? The night will feature quick-win games for fans and participants to take part in for the chance to win prizes – or to showcase their skills and abilities! Additionally, there will be giveaways for Season Ticket Members and all fans, as we say thank you to the best fans in hockey – and hopefully begin to rev up for the 2023 OHL Playoffs!
The Otters organization is ecstatic to return hockey to downtown Erie for the 26th season, and reignite the best fan base in the OHL in pursuit of a return to the playoffs.
Don’t miss a single moment of the new year of Otters Hockey; 2022-23 Full Season Tickets are on sale now for as low as $11/game.
For the complete 2022-23 Otters schedule, head to OttersHockey.com/schedule or on OntarioHockeyLeague.com.
For the latest Otters news, visit OttersHockey.com, or follow the team on Facebook (Facebook.com/erieottershockey), Twitter (@ErieOtters), and Instagram (@ErieOtters).
For further information on the Erie Otters and for media inquiries, please contact Shawn Bednard at email@example.com.