March 21, 2015
Another great hockey game experience! The Dallas Stars will miss the playoffs, but you would never know it from watching the fan support! Similar to last night’s game in Tampa Bay, I got to the game about 1 1/2 hours before puck drop, and there was a party going on outside the American Airlines Arena. The crowd was evenly mixed between fans of the home town team, and fans from the visiting Blackhawks.
The pre-game show was fantastic, highlighted by the dropping of the illuminated Star from the rafters, and positioned for the Dallas Stars players to enter through its lower arches. The fans stood on their feet and applauded as the Dallas Stars players came on the ice, and they remained standing (and applauding) right through until the national anthem was performed. And due to the large number of Blackhawks fans in the building, loud cheering continued through the singing of the American Anthem, which is a tradition in the United Center in Chicago. The Dallas Stars fans responded with a tradition of their own, and that is to loudly chant “Stars” whenever this word is sung in the American Anthem.
With the game underway, the visiting team’s fans started the “Go Hawks Go” chant, but the home town team fans responded in kind. And another interesting thing about this crowd is how they stand and cheer whenever they see a particularly good play.
Now a word about the concourse levels where people mingle, grab a bite, etc. between periods. This arena is tops so far in the “elbow room” factor,” with lots of room to move around during the intermissions. And similar to most of the new arenas, there are plenty of food (and beverage) choices throughout the concourse levels, and healthy food options too. Because you can’t just eat hot dogs, pizza and pretzels at every game you attend! Trust me on that one!
I got a kick out of their hijinks, where they had some fun with the visiting team fans. They made a few announcements during the game, letting Chicago fans know they won a prize, and to go claim it outside the building. Thereafter they would show a Blackhawks fan walking up the stairs, with the implication that they fell for the ruse. Cute! And always a crowd favourite is slingshot bowling at the intermission!
I’m off to Phoenix tomorrow for an Arizona Coyotes game, and they have asked me to be available for a second intermission interview to talk about my trip. And after that, I head to Edmonton (which is my home base) for game #11 of my trip, where I can meet up with friends and family at the game, which will be very nice.
Thanks everyone for your encouragement and support! For those who have donated to Make-A-Wish, kudos to you! And for those who have not (yet) made a donation, let’s make a big splash when I’m in Edmonton on Monday March 23rd!!