A Reign fan brought to my attention yesterday the (total) lack of merchandise on the team’s official website.
Doing some digging, I learned that the URL www.ontarioreignstore.com came and went after one year, taking with it some appealing gear that was available for viewing and purchasing, around the world, all in one stop. The decision to discontinue the online store was handed down by majority owner AEG.
Maybe foam fingers isn’t your thing, but …
This fan who hails from the East Coast recently expressed a desire for a Reign T-shirt and wanted to know what it would look like before he bought it – certainly a reasonable request. For fans who can’t make it to The Bank in person, there is a phone number (909-244-5500) to place an order from the team store, but obviously that precludes fans from seeing what they’re getting. Strike one.
The team store isn’t really a store, either, rather it’s a giant stand at the entrance to The Bank that is only open during Reign home games. A team spokesperson said that merchandise guru Michelle Ramos is open to accommodating special requests from fans who want to purchase gear at The Bank outside of gameday hours – just call the 909 number above.
A quick look around the ECHL’s Western Conference reveals that fans of the Bakersfield Condors, Stockton Thunder, Las Vegas Wranglers, Idaho Steelheads, Alaska Aces and Utah Grizzlies can all purchase gear online – though the Grizzlies’ virtual shelves are bare. Only the Reign and Victoria Salmon Kings (perhaps not coincidentally, the only ECHL team based in Canada) don’t have an online store. There’s a link to a store on ECHL.com, but it’s “under construction.”
So unless you plan on digging through eBay, craigslist, et. al., the only option for online Reign gear appears to be meigray.com. Keep in mind that they sell only game-worn jerseys, complete with the player’s name and number (and maybe sweat or blood) on the back. In the case of the Reign, all the jerseys currently for sale through meigray are from last season and – get this – none come with photos. Strike two.
There’s a chance I’m missing something, because it seems hard to believe that there’s no website selling unused Reign gear outside of an auction site like eBay, or a classified site like craigslist. Especially when one of the local NHL teams is apparently having problems with too much of its official gear retailing online. If so, please share the relevant links.
The optimistic take: If The Bank serves as the only place to purchase official team gear, and game days the only time to do it, this only seemed to help attendance last season.