Gay Hockey Ohio will host what is believed to be the first "Pride Night" at a Div. 1 men's hockey game when Ohio State hosts Notre Dame on Feb. 1. What's more, the You Can Play project is getting behind the event, as is the OSU hockey team itself. And from what we hear, there may be a pretty cool unveiling at the game. Tickets are only $10, and with the NHL shaking off the rust, No. 2 Notre Dame and unranked Ohio State may play the best hockey in the country played that night.
From Gay Hockey Ohio:
The words ‘PRIDE event’ invokes thoughts of ninety-degree sunny days, so this mid-winter pride event promises to turn up the heat and melt, if only for a few hours, the frigid clutch of winter. Gay Hockey Ohio (GHO) has teamed with The Ohio State University Men’s Hockey team and the You Can Play Project to bring you an OSU Pride Night. Fans will be fired up at 7:05 PM Friday, February 1st as OSU takes on Notre Dame at the Schottenstein center and are invited to come early for a pre-game social in The Boardroom and stay late for a post-game skate (please bring your own skates). GHO’s member team, Ohio Mayhem, is the only openly LGBT friendly team in Ohio and was the CAHL Sunday D-South League Champions for the Winter 2008 session. GHO has presented other hockey pride events over the last 8 years but this is a first with OSU and for OSU Men’s Hockey.
This pride night started out as a mere social event for the Ohio Mayhem team, but as conversations continued with the OSU organization and the You Can Play Project, the social event has blossomed into a community event. The success of previous pride night events GHO has held with the Blue Jackets have proven there is strong support and plenty of hockey fans in the central Ohio GLBT community. “This is an opportunity to for the community to bring their enthusiasm to one of the great NCAA Division 1 sports organizations,” said Doug Massey, president of Gay Hockey Ohio. Some of central Ohio’s largest employers’ GLBT groups are buying tickets as a social event for their organizations. Ohio Mayhem is also giving back to the community as a portion of ticket sales will benefit the Kaleidoscope Youth Center and Camp Sunrise.
At previous pride events GHO focused on a social awareness of GLBT fans and hockey players. Doug stated “We are building awareness of the existence of teams that don't care about whether you're straight or gay.” GHO is also in discussions with the You Can Play organization to have a representative at the game. GHO will continue to be a presence in the LGBT community and has plans to expand the opportunities for LGBT hockey players and fans. “We are definitely working to schedule some more great events to be able to give back. Gay Hockey Ohio would love to host an annual tournament, learn to skate/play nights, and continue to provide a safe and awesome environment for central Ohio hockey fans and players.”
For more information about the event, and to purchase tickets for the OSU vs. Notre Dame game at 7:05 PM Friday, February 1st, please visit Gay Hockey Ohio’s web site, www.gayhockeyohio.com. Tickets will be available through January 28th to allow time for ticket delivery, as there will be no will call for this event.