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Chicago Junior Hockey Team uses Astros scandal to celebrate Sign Language

The act of stealing signs has come under immense fire recently with a scandal that has rocked the world of sports. Never has the art of decoding messages been more taboo. The Chicago Steel Hockey Team (USHL) will attempt to change that narrative on Friday, April 3 when they present “STEEL”ing Signs for Good” in partnership with the Chicago Hearing Society, a night intended to bring attention to sign language interpreters in our community who work to improve access for deaf/deafblind/hard of hearing people and hearing people.

The Steel, currently boasting a franchise-best 41-7-1-0 record, host the Sioux Falls Stampede on Fri., April 3 at 7:05 p.m. at the Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva in a rematch of the 2019 Clark Cup Final.

“With so much recent attention on signs, the Astros scandal presents a unique opportunity for us to celebrate signing as a way of life for so many people in our community and those that make it possible,” said Steel President Dan Lehv.

The Steel will provide complimentary tickets to interpreters and their families as well as Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing individuals and their families. The National Anthem will be performed in sign language as well as many promotional announcements throughout the game.

‘It’s wonderful that the Chicago Steel are incorporating sign language into their game, not only to expose attendees of the benefits of sign language, but to provide Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing fans an accessible night of fun” said Karen Aguilar, Director of CHS.

The night will not be without several good-hearted jabs at the Astros.

A sign-making station for kids will be set up in the lobby, however all signs will be stolen by arena staff when fans attempt to enter the arena.

Fans will have the opportunity to purchase tickets in the “Plausible Deniability Section” – close enough to the action to see everything that is going on but far enough away to claim that they had no idea what was happening.

In-game promotions will include “Pin the asterisk on the trophy”, a jersey-ripping contest, and “Steal the trophy” in which two blindfolded contestants compete to reach the trophy first with one contestant aided by the banging of a trash can.

During intermission, Steel PR experts will provide crisis management training with breakout sessions such as “The art of the unconvincing apology” and “You guys aren’t really buying this, right?”

“It makes sense for us to jump into this controversy,” said Lehv. “We are, after all, the Steel.”

The Chicago Hearing Society, founded in 1916, provides communication access, hearing and assistive technologies, and support services for persons who are Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing. The organization provides customers with qualified sign language interpreters, certified deaf interpreters (CDI), and real-time captioning services.

Tickets are on sale now for the April 3 game and all Steel home games by visiting the Steel Box Office at Fox Valley Ice Arena, by phone at 855-51-STEEL or online at ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.

April 3 is the final Topgolf Family Pack game of the regular season. The special deal includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas, four chuck-a-pucks, four $10-off Topgolf game play cards and four Topgolf stadium seat pads. The package starts at just $48 but must be purchased in advance as the special deal is not available on the day of the game.

Chicago Steel Upcoming Home Games:

Sat., March 14 vs. Green Bay Gamblers 7:05 pm (Military Appreciation/Hometown Heroes Night with jersey auction to benefit Wounded Warriors Project presented by McCue Chevy)

Sun., March 15 vs. Green Bay Gamblers 3:05 pm (Giveaway: 20th Season Youth Replica Jersey presented by Waubonsee Community College for kids 14 and younger, Xfinity Skate with the Steel)

Fri., April 3 vs. Sioux Falls Stampede 7:05 pm (“STEEL”ing Signs for Good, Topgolf Family Pack game)

For more information and to purchase Steel tickets, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.


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