Front’s Grin and Bear it

Teddy Bear Toss, Christmas Toy Drive, Kingston Frontanac's Teddy Bear Toss, Kingston, OntarioDecember is all about giving, and there’s certainly is no shortage of ways to help ensure that those less fortunate have the basic essentials, and a little something special this holiday season. Kingstonians can show their generosity by donating non-perishables to the local food bank, buy a snowsuit for a child in need, throw some change into a Salvation Army kettle, or even hurl a stuffed animal onto the ice at the K-Rock Centre. For those of you who are not familiar with that last option, the annual Teddy Bear Toss affords Front’s fans a chance to litter the rink with teddy bears, and other soft creatures.  These plush companions gets scooped up, sorted and distributed as a part of Kingston’s annual Toy Drive.

Last Friday, the Kingston Frontenac’s hosted this year’s Teddy Bear Toss, while the game was broadcast live on SportsNet. Although neither the toss nor the game went according to plan, in the end, the Front’s got bear-ied.  While the game summary on the team’s website contains a bit of humour, Coach Gilmour thoughts are completely serious:

It was embarrassing to have that happen on our own ice and we have no one to blame but ourselves. We have to start looking in the mirror and find ways within to turn this thing around.

While I am not an avid Kingston Frontenac’s follower, Gilmour’s comments and the video below bring to mind a few questions.  First and foremost, are the Front’s doing that poorly this season?  According to the standings, the black and yellow are sitting on the lower half of the eastern conference, however they’re only one point out of 4th place.  Even so, I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the coach to demand more from the team, who is playing in a brand new, multi-million dollar facility. Which leads to my second point.  Again, although I don’t regularly attend Front’s games, the number of empty seats visible in the video below is extremely embarrassing.  This is especially true when you consider the game was on a Friday night, held in conjunction with the Teddy Bear Toss, as well as a preliminary visit from the Olympic Torch.  To all you season ticket holders, and regular Front’s fans, are large numbers of empty seats normal?  Thanks to iwona kelly for the photo of a Teddy Bear Toss in some other city.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

6 thoughts on “Front’s Grin and Bear it

  • Yes, the sea of empty seats is completely normal here in Kingston.

    This is proof positive how corrupt is local mainstream media. The LVEC should be an continuing scandal. In this little town, the newspaper is in bed with the downtown that burdened us for the next three decades with this absolute and total disgrace.

  • Used to help cover the games with TVCogeco at the Memorial Centre. They always had a large walk up crowd from the neighbourhood. I’d get there to set up and fans would be inside already having a coffee. Then more would come near gametime. If the team was good or bad they showed up.

    The owner kept talking about “needing” a new arena and it would help them be a better team. By attracting players with the new facilities. But the team has the same owner and GM who have proven they can’t or won’t put a winning team on the ice. At the old arena they had some leeway with fans. With all the money spent on the KRC their patience has come to an end.

    I would say location is a problem when the team is not doing well. When a team is doing well fans will show up. If they’re struggling it makes the effort to get to arena harder to justify.

    Personally I’ve seen a few concerts at the KRC but still haven’t been to ONE game at the new place. One big reason is since I’m on the radio Friday nights and that’s when most home games are. But I don’t see why I should spend money on a team with ownership like this. Plus after helping out on the Golden Gaels football broadcasts on CFRC it really makes the Fronts pale in comparison.

    Fronts Talk is a good message board to check out. Fans much more passionate about the team than I am. One good line on there about what fans want for Christmas.

    “For Christmas I would like a new owner for the Frontenacs, that’s it, is that asking too much?”

    That is the feeling among many fans these days. When it gets to that level it’s quite hard to turnaround unless you win.

  • Adopted hometown proud and all that…but this is straight from their website:
    Adult – $18
    Student/Senior – $16
    Child (3-13) – $14

    So to take my family of 4 to a game would be $64 for tickets plus parking plus food plus any trinketry/programs for the kids plus tax plus…

    That’s pretty pricy to me.

  • @That Guy Fully Agree that the price is outrageous. If you equate a hockey game to other forms of entertainment, admission to the theatre isn’t that pricey…or at least it didn’t used to be. Also, I love the word trinketry.

  • And the increased cost of parking hasn’t helped. I know specifically of one of the nearby City of Kingston lots that had their price double since 2007. Used to be $7 to stay at this specific one for 24 hours, now it’s $14.

    Jacking up parking because the new arena is coming is short-sighted. Fans would spend more than 7 bucks at the arena if they’re going there. Either at the arena or surrounding businesses.

  • I’ve been to many sporting events and concerts in many cities, large and small, around North America. At virtually every one, parking is more expensive than in Kingston, and at many, a long walk is mandatory for those who are not mobility-impaired, even if only from the outer fringes of a massive parking lot. Parking is already heavily subsidized (read this for example) and those who park should pay part of the true cost of parking to society. In the long term, this will provide incentives to car pool, to use public transit, and to vote for politicians who support better public transit and urban planning. Many Canadians say they want to live in a more environmentally-friendly way, but providing free or heavily subsidized parking does not encourage environmentally-friendly behaviour.

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