By David Fine// Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders have released the team’s 2022-23 Promotional Schedule, an important step and really a “first” in team history. Because of last season’s abbreviated offseason to launch the team, this season’s promotional calendar shows the hard work, dedication and planning of the Heartlanders staff and our community partners. It’s a months-long process to put this together.With season tickets, group options and mini-plans now available, the Heartlanders are creeping closer to opening night Oct. 21 vs. Idaho (iowaheartlanders.com/tickets, 319-569-4625).Here are my top-five promotional nights on the 2022-23 calendar.5) Nov. 20 at 2:05 p.m. Nickelodeon SpongeBob SquarePants Day, presented by Advance Auto Parts, vs. KalamazooThe Heartlanders will be wearing SpongeBob SquarePants specialty jerseys. That’s enough to get me to the game, but there’s so much more: a Pajama Party with a chance to win special prizes if you’re dressed in pajamas plus an early 2:05 p.m. puck drop on a Sunday so you’re home early. This game is setting up to embody the spirit of SmittyWerbenJagerManJensen (HE WAS NUMBER 1).4) Jan. 7 at 7:05 p.m. Mossy Oak Night, Bobblehead Giveaway, Specialty Jerseys, pres. by DASH Auctions vs. Indy The FIRST-EVER Bobblehead Giveaway in team history. I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be. In typical Heartlanders fashion, expect something fun and off the board here. Plus, with Mossy Oak Night the Heartlanders are embracing camo, hunting and the outdoors with specialty jerseys. Fear the Camo Deer (BAY-BAY).
3) Mar. 25 at 7:05 p.m. Heartland Heroes Night vs. WichitaThis night has the opportunity to be an every-year event. It’s the first “Heartland Heroes” game in the club’s history. This will be an awesome night to honor past, current and future frontline workers. Plus, late March games often have playoff implications. I can’t wait to see how the Heartlanders perform in front of their home crowd in this Saturday Night contest. 2) Dec. 14 at 10:35 AM Field Trip Day vs. KalamazooThis is another first that’s going to be an amazing day for school children in the Iowa City Community School District (and Heartlanders fans that play hooky from work). First off, I love an early start time, and this is a great educational day that many minor hockey league teams have pulled off. This game will promote lessons about the importance of exercise and hockey to enhance school curriculums. Personally, I plan on enjoying a nice coffee and bagel egg n cheese before the puck drops.1) Teddy Bear Toss Night, presented by Steindler Orthopedic ClinicTeddy Bears on the ice, the holiday season in full effect, and a great night to donate to those in need through Toys for Tots. The Heartlanders jumped on board with Teddy Bear Toss as one of the team’s first-ever promotional nights last season, and it takes the top spot as my favorite this season. After the Heartlanders score their first goal, fans are encouraged to throw their bears on the ice. Plus, it’s Ugly Sweater Night (wear your best to the game for a chance to win prizes) and a Fanbango Giveaway to create a little extra noise. Can’t beat a good Teddy Bear Toss.Honorable MentionsDC Comics Night and Fight With Flash Night Jan. 28 | MARVEL Night & Special Olympics Night Mar. 10 | Home Opener Oct. 21 & Affiliation Night Oct. 22 | Military Appreciation Night Nov. 26.