My 1st Away Game: A photo essay

Happy New Year!

I just got back from a wonderful vacation in Florida where I caught  giant fish, had dolphins follow my boat, and learned a new golf grip to keeps my balls from going way left! All in all, a successful trip. One of the highlights was scoring tickets to the Panthers / Habs game on New Years Eve. It was my first away game, and I was very excited.

We all know how it turned out, but for those of you who have never been to the Bank Atlantic Center (which is probably only 10 people, since the whole arena is filled with Habs fans), I thought I would offer you a few observations from my time there.

First thing is first…we are one spoiled group of fans. When journalists who follow teams mention that the Bell Centre is one of the best arenas, if not THE best, I now understand.


The seats:

If I was going to watch a hockey game in the state of Florida, I was going to make sure I was right up there. I had 5th row corner. Guess how much I paid for these seats. $100 EACH! That’s basically what I pay to sit in the Whites at the Bell Centre. The kicker? The guys in front of me paid $70 AT THE DOOR! You read correctly, they walked up to the box office and negotiated with the kid at the teller window. Meanwhile, 5 months ago I’m all over StubHub paying $100 and thinking I got the deal of the century.

Also, you cannot really tell from this photo but the glass is truly terrible. It is scuffed up and looks as though it hasn’t been cleaned since the day it was installed.

An Innovation

Cup holders. So simple – so brilliant. I had both an armrest and front-of-seat option. That’s two cup holders, one for my beer (which was comparable in price to the Bell Centre), and one for my phone. This innovation is on par with the excitement I felt when I got a dishwasher. I was hands free for cheering and clapping and my phone was easily accessible for snapping photos. Please note:  the Torch on display is not my phone, but was placed there for demontrative purposes. I’m an iPhone kind of girl.

Hockey fans

I lost one of my photos, but this one captures my two points just as well.

  1. I think it is very nice that the father is a Flyers fan (Jagr jersey) and the son is a Caps fan (Ovechkin jersey) and they came out to watch a Panthers / Habs game. Usually I am against wearing a jersey of a none-playing team, but in this case, and in the spirit of the holidays, I think it is quite nice.
  2. They are cut out of this photo slightly, but just to the left were about 8 kids in Panthers jerseys with supportive signs. Firstly, how on earth did these kids become Panthers fans? And secondly, the signs made me wonder about the Bell Centre. We never see signs at the Bell Centre. Is that just an American thing, or are signs just not allowed there?
And then there was this guy…there were probably 100 of this guy. I don’t get it. It seems like a lot of effort to just get on camera for 1/2 a second.


Now I know why my tickets were cheap…


I could barely read the score from this thing, let alone see a replay. The Panthers should hold a bake sale or something because this scoreboard must be a hand-me-down from the 70s.


Some other observations (not photographed):

  • The Bank Atlantic Center does not mic the ice – which makes for fairly silent game play.  You can hear the crowd, but the play is barely audible. Whereas back home, you hear every stride, pass and shot.
  • During the 1st intermission a guy was selected to take three shots, and win money for putting them into an EMPTY net. He missed the shot from the hash marks, missed the shot from the blue line, and missed the shot from the red line. Again, I repeat, this was simply putting a puck into an empty net….nothing…not even a post. Imagine they had selected a Habs fan? Or any Canadian for that matter?
  • Cheerleaders are lame. Animators dressed in tiger stripped suits are lamer.


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