Although participants are getting an eagle-eye view, this project is not for the birds. Arizona Sundogs' co-owner Brad Fain, general manager Chris Presson, team captain Jason Morgan and marketing and public relations director Lew Rees were hoisted 30 feet into the air in a scissor-lift at noon on Sunday at the intersection of Glassford Hill Road and Highway 69. They plan to remain there, eating, sleeping and working in a 5-by-8-foot box, until hockey fans have purchased 300 season tickets.
As of Tuesday morning, Rees said they'd sold 125 tickets. A press release late in the day reported 201 tickets sold by noon.
"I'm getting the sense people are picking up on it and starting to act instead of react," Rees said.
Although the four were cramped and weary as the event neared its forty-eighth hour, Rees said the experience had been very rewarding.
"People are honking, waving and cheering. They realize this looks like fun for the first three hours, but it is a sacrifice and we're doing this for a very good reason," he said. "When people come here, it encourages us to keep going."
Rees said having managing partner Brad Fain join in shows that unlike many franchises where owners are out of state and out of touch, the Sundogs' ownership is active and concerned.
"It is a good morning," Fain responded. "The sun is up, the wind has died down a bit. I appreciate the support of the community. We wanted to let the community know we're committed to it (keeping the Sundogs in Prescott Valley), but it takes an entire community to make this thing work."
Fain said the number of fans who attended the Tuesday and Wednesday playoff games in early April was encouraging, as was the push for season tickets then when they sold about 100.
"That's a great sign that fans love their hockey," he said.
Fain noted that this week's goal of 300 is just another aspect of an overall objective to sell 800 new season tickets, "so the building will be full again."
"We hope we can get it done quickly and move on to the next big project," Fain said. "We have to get the team lined up and we're continuing discussions for a new coach."
Captain Morgan's plans were more immediate as the wind picked up again.
"The lift tends to shake a little more, and if it goes over, I'm grabbing Lew so he can cushion my fall," Morgan quipped.
"Sacrifice the oldest guy," Rees played along.
Then Morgan turned serious about their mission.
"It's a grind but we're prepared for it. I hope that's the message everyone gets," he said, then showed his sense of humor again. "I hope it happens before Thursday. I heard it might rain."
Presson, who went up in the lift despite a fear of heights, agreed.
"We're definitely tired. We knew it would be taxing and it certainly has been, but we're hanging in there," Presson said. "We've had two good days and we would like to have a couple of really good days - that people would see our commitment and return the favor in kind."
Morgan speculated the lift experience might be like being in prison, but with much better meals, such as the breakfast buffet Jim Cabral of Gabby's Kitchen brought that morning. (Cabral also took over the concession for Tim's Toyota Center this past fall.) Several restaurants have stepped up to bring meals, Rees said.
"A lot of our community really does care about the Arizona Sundogs and our mission," Rees said.
Fain said the lift stunt is a simple call to action.
"We need neighbors to be neighbors. If all season ticket owners and fans will grab one friend and come, we'll get this done."
"Bring your checkbooks," Presson added.
Staff members are in a tent below the lift, ready to sell tickets, as are others in the Sundogs office in the Entertainment District. Or potential buyers can call 928-759-6600, and they might even be rerouted to one of the four in the lift.
Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013
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WOW...They are really dedicated to getting the job done....You have to hand it to these four guys for doing what they are doing to help insure our SUNDOGS get the attention they deserve and need...If you have not attended any of their games your really missing some serious excitement from start to finish....I bought my season tickets now and really saved some serious money plus showing my support for our SUNDOG....I really encourage everyone to get over there and get your season tickets now and help be part our the SUNDOGS SUCCESS.....Thank you