Once upon a time they were passed down from year to year. Now, game worn jerseys are a big-time fundraiser–even for minor league hockey teams.
The days of picking up a unique minor league hockey jersey on the cheap are all but over. A couple of post-game auctions bear that out, although the charitable aspect may have had something to do with the fact that over $50,000 was raised by two clubs.
A post-game jersey auction after a recent Florida Everblades East Coast Hockey League game raised $22,337 for local Southwest Florida charities.
The game-worn jerseys auctioned off were the elite white Everblades beach-themed uniforms with green and blue trim worn during the Beach Night game. The jersey bids ranged from $625 – $3,100.
Overall, 23 jerseys were auctioned off with Everblade forward Brad Zancanaro’s jersey selling for the highest amount at $3,100. Long-time Everblade Ernie Hartlieb’s uniform fetched the second highest bid at $1,600, and Mathieu Melason’s jersey was third highest at $1,500.
All the money raised during the auction will be split between several area Southwest Florida charities, with a large portion of the funds going to support the Deb Kelsey Scholarship Foundation.
The American Hockey League’s Norfolk Admirals were able to raise $26,850 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association on Saturday night in their annual MDA Jersey Auction.
Over the past eight seasons, the Admirals have been able to raise $213,960 for MDA through the annual jersey auction.
"I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome of this year’s auction," said Admirals Vice President Mark Bernard. "Not only does it help a great charity, but it reconfirms my belief that our fans are amongst the classiest in the league."
Last Friday and Saturday, the Admirals donned one-of-a-kind gold and blue jerseys with the original Admirals logo consisting of an anchor surrounded by five stars. Immediately following the conclusion of the game on Saturday, a live auction took place on the ice with the jerseys sold right off the players’ backs. The highest winning bid went for the jerseys of #3 David Koci and #35 Jonathan Boutin, whose jerseys each sold for $1,300.00. In total, 27 jerseys and a team-autographed stick were auctioned to benefit the MDA.
"The Admirals Jersey Auction is always one of my favorite events of the year," said Muscular Dystrophy Association Program Coordinator Ashley Dorey. "It gives MDA the chance to connect our families with our sponsors, which is something that is always important. Everyone has fun and we raise some amazing money for a great cause."