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T-rex combine: Elks announce family friendly theme nights aimed at drawing young fans

The Edmonton Elks warm-up ahead of the opening practice of main camp on Sunday, May 15, 2022 (CTV News Edmonton/Dave Mitchell). The Edmonton Elks warm-up ahead of the opening practice of main camp on Sunday, May 15, 2022 (CTV News Edmonton/Dave Mitchell).
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The Edmonton Elks announced today that changes are coming for the imminent 2024 season.

Families and younger people who don't go to games all the time are being targeted. Special family-friendly theme nights and activities will take place throughout the season. Edmontonians will also be able to purchase single-game tickets for all regular season home games.

"It started for us back in the fall," says Evan Daum, VP of Marketing and Fan Engagement. "What do we want to do in terms of attracting families and different people to Commonwealth Stadium? It took us down the road of coming to some different themes that we haven't done in the past."

Throughout the season, the Elks will be hosting '90's Night, Dino Day, Hollywood Night, Country Day and a Halloween Spooktacular alongside returning events like Family Day and Indigenous Celebration Day, among others. All home games will feature some kind of theme.

Dino Day will "have the world's first T-Rex Combine at halftime," says Daum. "We're going to get people dressed up in inflatable dinosaurs, and do some vertical jumps and 40-yard dashes. In terms of the broad approach, it really is trying to combine some family focused themes that will get young families out to the games and create that next generation of football fan."

The 2024 season is the 75th for the team. The "Salute to 75" Home Opener on June 8 will debut the new "Elks Fan Park," as well as what the Elks say is the largest alumni autograph session in club history.

Elks Fan Park will open 90 minutes before every home game this season, and feature a tailgate party with live music, Jackie Parker's food and drinks, The Brick Kid Zone playground and a Re/Max family picnic.

Daum says the team wishes to strike a balance between targeting a younger demographic and not taking existing fans for granted.

"Regardless of the result on the field, we need to create an atmosphere and experience that's fun for people. You have to have a robust package that is compelling for people to get off their butts and come to the stadium. (It has to be) more fun than sitting at home or doing something else."

A full schedule of season-long events can be found on the Elks' website, where fans can already purchase tickets.

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