When the Edmonton Elks completed their 2021 season, it was a time when the front office had to think long and hard about trying to find ways to restore the glory of this great historical football franchise. The only positive of being rock bottom after completing the 2021 season with a dismal 3-11 season, is that it could not get any worse. The only way short and long term was to hire the right people in place that have a long-term solution. And a long-term solution is what has come to fruition.
Christmas Came Early to Edmonton
On November 23rd, 2021, the Edmonton Elks added the great Wally Buono to their front office roster as an interim General Manager and primarily as a Special Consultant. The move was as good as it gets considering the extensive resume that Wally Buono has accomplished in professional football. The Edmonton Elks went for the jugular on this one and obtained without a doubt one of the most successful football minds in the history of the game.
On Tuesday, December 21st, 2022, the Edmonton Elks brought Chris Jones back to the City of Champions as their Head Coach and General Manager. In addition to Chris Jones staff, other notables were:
Stephen McAdoo, offensive coordinator
Jarious Jackson, pass game coordinator and quarterback’s coach
Markus Howell, run game coordinator, and receiver’s coach
Anthony Vitale, offensive line coach
Demetrious Maxie, defensive line coach
Cam Robinson, linebackers coach
Brandon Isaac, defensive backs coach
Tyrone Robinson, strength and conditioning
Sammy Gahagan, director of US scouting
There is no doubt that the Edmonton offense was so stagnant in 2021 and was in need of an upgrade. Obtaining both Stephen McAdoo, and Jarious Jackson is a luxury. Stephen McAdoo has done wonders recently in transforming Cody Fajardo while in Saskatchewan. He molded a quarterback from being a backup at the time, into a polished quarterback. In Jarious Jackson you have an individual who has a fast experience in working with some great quarterbacks past in Travis Lulay, Mike Reilly, Trevor Harris, Zach Collaros, and Ricky Ray.
On January 25th, 2022, the Edmonton Elks Victor Cui as their new President and Chief Executive Officer. Another great move by Edmonton is that they add a tone of experience in Victor Cui who previously worked with ESPN Star Sports, the PGA Tour, and Co-Founded Singapore-based One Championship mixed martial arts in 2011. Currently, One Championship is valued at slightly over 1 billion USD. More importantly, Victor Cui is coming home. Victor Cui was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. This will be very sentimental for Victor Cui when Edmonton restores their winning history in ultimately winning a Grey Cup.
Expand the Fanbase
One of the most forward-thinking moves done by Victor Cui was to start a new season-ticket drive that was announced on February 18th, 2022. The ticket drive was a purchase of 2022 season tickets for as low as $99.00. It’s only fitting that they used 99 as symbolic of past Edmonton Oilers great Wayne Gretzky. This ticket drive was made public to purchase on Monday, February, 21st, 2022, and had a 72-hour window which was concluded on Thursday, February 24th, 2022. Although the number was not made public after the seat sale, it was reported that the numbers were “very positive”. Anytime you get a chance to expand your season ticket base, it’s inevitable that it will gear to more income for a club on a gameday experience in food and beverage, parking, and merchandise just to name a few.
If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The Edmonton Elks will be bringing a watch party This will be a great way in engaging fans at local pubs and eateries.
Canada’s first Indigenous Girl’s Football Team visit Commonwealth Stadium. It’s a great initiative in connecting with Alberta’s northern communities.
Continue the Current Fan Energy in Edmonton
Although the Edmonton Oilers were ousted in 4 games by the Colorado Avalanche, the Oilers exceeded expectations this year in reaching the Western Conference Finals. Moreover, the Edmonton Oil Kings are currently in the Western Hockey League Finals vs the Seattle Thunderbirds with the winner advancing to the Memorial Cup.
This is a perfect time for the Edmonton Elks to add to the current success that had captured the energy of the great people in the City of Champions. Embrace this challenge. Good things will come. Remember, the late Joey Moss is watching in the stadium in the sky. Play his favorite song: La Bamba after every home victory. The Oilers have, so continue this new tradition.
Antler Up Edmonton! This will be a much more improved Edmonton Elks team in 2022.
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