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Local group has an idea to fill empty seats during Canucks games

Last Updated Dec 29, 2016 at 11:59 am PST

(Ann Schmaltz, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Kids Up Front accepts donated tickets for those who not be able to make it to a game

Group says it serves hundreds of thousands of children annually

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Vancouver Canucks are not having what many fans would call a great season. The team sits near the bottom of the league, currently in 28th spot.

It seems like there are more and more empty seats at Rogers Arena each home game. And you would think ticket donations might go hand-in-hand with the piling losses, but Edie Doepker with Kids Up Front says that isn’t necessarily the case for 2016.

“It’s a wee bit down, but every year we have a little bit of a fluctuation. It depends if there are some major sporting events going on in the community, then we’ll see a rise in tickets. Tickets remain at about 35,000 a year, and that means we are able to serve about 350,000 kids in the greater Vancouver area.”

Doepker adds the team’s success doesn’t have a huge impact on the number of tickets donated, and consistently have a greater demand for Canucks tickets. “The kids we’re working with that don’t have opportunities to go to any kind of a game, when they receive a ticket, it doesn’t really matter if they’re winning or losing, they aren’t particular. They’re just thrilled to get the ticket and go, and that provides a benefit to every organization.”

Any company, corporate office, or individual that can’t attend a game or event can donate to Kids Up Front. Doepker asks for a bit of empathy the next time you have seats and can’t fill them. “Think back to the first time they went to a sporting, cultural, or recreational event, or they took their kids, and the thrill of that experience, the excitement, and feeling part of a larger community. Think about those kids.”

The Canucks organization says it has donated between 500 to 700 unsold tickets per game to charities this year.

In an emailed statement, the team says “we’ve had more kids and community groups at our games than in any other time in the past decade.”

The Canucks play tonight against the LA Kings and Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.