Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ice Breaker

Recently, I attended my first hockey game with my boyfriend. In my lifetime, I’ve been to a handful of professional sporting events. They include approximately five baseball games. That’s it. Unless one college basketball and football game each counts. Somehow I doubt it.
AJ enjoys hockey. I have nothing against hockey. So Saturday night we headed to the St. Pete Times Forum for the Lightning vs. Sabres game. Since I’m from Buffalo and just moved to Tampa Bay, the situation seemed befitting.
Online ticket prices were listed around $25. What I did not know about the Forum was that the Box Office is called the McDonald’s Box Office. I’d thought it meant there was a McDonald’s AND the box office. Interesting sponsorship there...
On our way to the building from the parking garage, we passed two people scalping tickets. On one occasion, I tried to step out of the crowd to ask one of the guys how much he wanted. To my surprise, AJ held onto my arm to prevent me from doing this. Later on, he told me the guy was "shady." Maybe he was... But that didn’t change the fact that the only tickets left at the McDonald’s Box Office were double the price of the cheap seats.
Good thing some other guy nearby was selling tickets for $15. And it turns out his girlfriend and I are both from Western New York.
For being located in Florida, this game sure had a lot of Buffalo super fans screaming "Let’s go Buffalo!"
We were also bombarded with advertisements. I think we should get paid to go to the games. Both fans and companies are paying a lot of money, so teams can pay some goalie from Sweden a million bucks a year. Literally. That translates to $12,195 per game (before income taxes) Whoa. Can you blame the guy? If someone offered me $12,000 to play one hockey game, I sure would give it a run even though I’m sure I’d give my team a handicap.
One thing AJ seemed pumped up for was a Chick-Fil-A deal wherein ticket stubs could get you a free sandwich if the Lightning scored at least four goals. When this happened during the game we were at, that was the only time he got up out of his seat to cheer. Unfortunately, that goal was declared invalid - making the sandwich dream a bust.
To sweeten the deal a bit, I did take my man to Cold Stone. To avoid the post-game rush/traffic jam frustration we hung out in this little area near the water called Channelside in Tampa. It being the weekend before Halloween, meant a sea of rather interesting costumes. Everything from sexy cops to sexy witches to sexy prostitutes? Eh, that’s what Halloween is for.
Overall not a bad night. And I didn’t even have to dress up as a sexy bee or anything.

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