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Monday, January 1, 2018

Columbus Blue Jackets (From the Sardine Seats)

My first NHL game. Not as much fun as going to minor league hockey, but almost okay(ish).

Click on pics for larger view.
The view from my seat. Yes, I was above the scoreboard.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Tampa Lightning

When the game is a blowout you can always fight.
Women in skates and miniskirts scraping the ice.
Ummmm, I guess this is supposed to be a blue jacket?

1) Had to run a gauntlet of beggars and get cussed out by a conman on my way from the parking garage to the hockey rink.

2) My seat was above the scoreboard and it was far from the highest seat in the house. It provided an excellent view of the game, but otherwise it was BY FAR the worst seat I've sat in for years. The seats were inexcusably tiny and this wasn't just because I'm personally big. Everybody in the row was alternating with one person sitting back and one person sitting on the front edge of his seat. It was the only way to sit unless we wanted our shoulders crushed into each other along the entire row. Worse, the seats were separated from each other by unmovable, hard plastic arm rests. These wouldn't have been too bad except each had an unusable cup holder on it which made it hard for adults to even get into the seats. And if you put a drink in one it would have gotten crushed, crumpled and spilled by you and/or your neighbor. I've been to lots of stadiums, parks, pitches, rinks, etc. over the last few years and I've complained because some sell tickets where they know the view is blocked so the action cannot be seen (Cincinnati Reds, Indianapolis Indians, Huntsville Havoc), but I've never before been to a place where the seat itself is so deplorably bad. Oh, and my seat was on the first row of the upper level and there was so little space between the front of the seat and the plexiglass keeping you from falling about ten feet to the walkway below that my knees were on it for most of the game. They've optimized this place to crush as many people in as they can and they've succeeded at that. However, they've also made it unpleasant enough that nobody should pay the cost of an upper level seat ($82 for my single seat - $66 plus "fees"). Buy a subscription to NHL TV instead. It's $99 right now and was less than $150 at the beginning of the season. Do the math, use a VPN, stay home, and have a good experience watching the game.

3) The first period was lackadaisical.

4) The second period was a slaughter. Before the clock ticked off nine minutes the Thunder had put the puck into the goal four times and the game was effectively over. Sometime in the third period, the Thunder got another goal and it all ended with Blue Jackets' fans booing the home team loudly. I don't know how the fans in the bottom level were reacting, but the fans in the sardine seats were mightily peeved off.

5) I bolted for the door before the "indoor fireworks.' Holy cow, that's a bad idea.

6) A once in a lifetime experience (I hope).