Sports stats

 Vancouver Warriors

Warriors' In-Game Experience Keeps Fans Like Emily Privett Coming Back Year over Year

April 16, 2024 - National Lacrosse League (NLL)
Vancouver Warriors News Release

The Warriors faithful have been keeping Rogers Arena loud this season with record-breaking attendance numbers.

Vancouver has averaged 8,589 fans per home game and one Warriors' fan, Emily Privett, has been hooked on the atmosphere and pace of the game since she set foot in Rogers Arena six years ago.

Privett is a season ticket holder and has been coming to Warriors games since the tail end of the 2019 season. Emily is originally from the United Kingdom, taking part in swimming and rounders (a game like baseball) growing up, but was introduced to lacrosse by her boyfriend who played the sport growing up.

"I picked front row seats, and I loved it right away. The atmosphere, the game itself, is a lot of fun," Privett said. "I really like the lacrosse community. As somebody who's never played before, I feel like I'm still very much included and it's very friendly."

COVID meant the rest of the 2020 season was cancelled and there was no season in 2021, so when lacrosse started up again Privett was first in line to get her tickets.

"I've been to pretty much every home game since," she said.

With those Warriors' gamedays circled on her calendar, Privett looks forward to all parts of the experience at Rogers Arena. She loves the fast pace and physicality at a Warriors game and the constant flow to the game that is engaging.

"The game itself is my main draw," she said. "The music also gets people going to keep the atmosphere up and with the lululemon dance crew and halftime entertainment, there's no two minutes when you're bored, it's constant for two and a half hours and I love it," she shared.

As a fan, Privett says having the opportunity to meet the players and create personal connections is unique to any sport and league. There are autograph sessions after home games and last season she attended an impromptu watch party at The Pint - hosted by the Warriors - where players who didn't travel came to watch a road game with fans.

"We could just sit and chat with the players as if they were normal guys on a Saturday night having a beer. It goes to show what awesome people they are that they would set aside their Saturday night to go hang out with fans," she said.

When she called in to get tickets for the 2022 season, she was helped over the phone by a young man named Adam. When she got the confirmation e-mail for her tickets, she saw his last name "Charalambides" and thought it was an interesting last name but didn't think anything else of it.

Charalambides' first year with the Warriors was the 2022 season.

In the home opener that season she said she was stunned to hear the PA announcer say Charalambides' name over the loudspeaker and quickly double checked her e-mail to confirm it was the same person who had sold her the tickets.

"I met him in person after a game one time at an autograph session and he recognized my voice just through our phone conversations and that recognition was super powerful because I didn't feel like just another fan, he remembered who I was," Privett said. "Every time I see him, he always asks how I'm doing and it's really nice to have that conversation."

She's a big fan of Charalambides' kindness and humility on and off the floor and has enjoyed watching him grow as a player over the last three years in Vancouver.

The dedication the players and coaching staff put forward is something she also admires. Attending a Warriors' open scrimmage last fall, she saw Kevin Crowley and Tyrell Hamer-Jackson finish up their scrimmage after a full weekend of practice and ventured out into the pouring rain to coach the next generation of lacrosse players.

"Honestly, it's next level. I don't think they get enough credit for the amount of effort, time and hard work they put in," she shared. "The training they put in along with their day-to-day job - it's incredible what they do."

Becoming a Warriors' fan has her not only invested in the NLL, but in the offseason she also takes in WLA games so she doesn't have to wait six months to see her favourite players take the floor.

She feels Vancouver's success this season is well-deserved and the second half of the season is nothing short of impressive.

"It's really, really exciting to see. I'm excited to see how we end this season and start and how we start next season is something I'm already looking forward to," she said.

• Discuss this story on the National Lacrosse League message board...

National Lacrosse League Stories from April 16, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central