Fans wearing 'Yotes sweaters get in free

2/17/2005 - Phoenix Coyotes

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- No NHL to watch? How about some tennis instead?

Fans who show up for the first two days of next week's ATP Tour event here wearing Phoenix Coyotes jerseys will be given free tickets for the tennis tournament.

"I'm a die-hard tennis nut, and I can imagine how difficult it must be for die-hard hockey fans right now," said Steve Bellamy, president of The Tennis Channel, which is buying the Scottsdale tournament and offering the free ducats.

The Tennis Channel announced Thursday its offer to hockey fans -- the first 500 people wearing a Coyotes jersey to the day or night sessions at the tournament Monday and Tuesday can claim a free ticket to that session at the will-call window.

Bellamy acknowledged the gesture wasn't purely altruistic.

"With their new free time, hockey fans can come see the spectacular athleticism, finesse and artistry happening right now in big-time tennis," he said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the NHL called off what was left of its season, becoming the first major sports league in North America to lose an entire season to a labor dispute.