Flyers invite front-line families to attend home games this season

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There were some fans in attendance Wednesday night for the Flyers’ season opener at home as part of a new program honoring local heroes.

For now, no fans are allowed to attend Philadelphia Flyers games at the Wells Fargo Center this season. But there is one exception.

“For every home game this season we’re going to select one front-line family to be the only guest in the Wells Fargo Center to watch the Flyers play this year,” explained chief business officer Mike Shane.

He said the team wants to do something special for these essential workers.

While the families can technically sit wherever they want, “we have seats specially picked out for them behind the Flyers’ bench,” said Shane, “adjacent to where Gritty will be watching the games.”

The first family chosen to see the season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins are Amanda and Josh Hathaway of Langhorne, plus their two children.

Amanda Hathaway is a nurse and Josh Hathaway is an EMT, both at St. Mary’s Medical Center.

“As part of our pregame ceremonies, each night, our players are going to recognize them with a stick raise. We’ve got commemorative tickets, a goodie bag,” Shane added.

Honored families will also be featured during the broadcast, and they’ll later get a digital clip of that.

“Every one of the families we’ve selected so far have been very humble and almost feeling like they don’t deserve this,” Shane responded when asked what this experience means to these frontline families. “We have to tell them ‘yes they do.’ But the excitement and the joy and the theme that we’ve heard is a night of kind of normalcy. They’re not excited about the recognition, they’re excited to do something that they love.”

The Flyers have partnered with BELFOR Property Restoration for this program.

When, and if, fans are allowed to attend games at some point this season, the team said a front-line family will still be invited, including during a playoff run.