Going to your first pro sporting event is something you never forget. I can still remember my first Red Sox game, when I was six years old. Sure I don’t remember the game much, but I can’t forget the atmosphere. The bright stadium lights, the peanut shells on the ground, and some loud guys calling Rich Gedman a f**king bum. Yeah, you don’t forgot your first game. So when my close friend told me he went to his first NHL game, I was interested in his experience.
There’s a good chance many Vegas residents haven’t been to an NHL hockey game before. Really where’s the opportunity? Ducks and Kings are 3+ hours away, and the Coyotes are even further. The Frozen Fury is played once a year at the MGM, and it’s preseason. There could be a lot of first timers when puck drops at the T-Mobile Arena. That being said, let’s check out my buddy Jimmy’s first experience at an NHL game. He answered some of my questions after the Bruins defeated the Blackhawks 4-2.
Jason Pothier: To start, a quick description on your overall experience.
Jimmy: It was a blast, I couldn’t believe how loud it was. I really had no expectations.
JP: What do you mean by no expectations?
Jimmy: Well you know, I wasnt quite sure if I’d like a hockey game. I couldn’t compare it to a Celtics game or a Red Sox game because I’ve been going to those games my whole life. This was foreign to me.
JP: How come?
Jimmy: Well I really don’t know much about hockey. I mean, I know the Bruins are usually good, but hockey wasn’t a sport I got into as a kid. My father usually took me to Sox or Celts games.
JP: How about the atmosphere?
Jimmy: It was crazy to tell you the truth. Before I could really sit down the crowd was going nuts, I didn’t realize the Bruins scored a minute in. It was fun all night. You can tell that people who go to hockey games, really know the sport and know what’s happening.
JP: Were you able to follow along?
Jimmy: To a point, I could obviously make out what team was on offense, but some of the play I had a hard time picking up. Like offsides and icing. I knew about them, but couldn’t always see it happen. I had a friend who kept pointing out things, which made it easier. I was able to pick up the flow by the end of the first period.
JP: Did you find the game exciting? Was there not enough scoring for you?
Jimmy: Yeah, it was really exciting. I know Chicago is pretty good, and the arena was super intense. Also, I was expecting a 2-1, or 3-2 game… A 4-2 game was plenty of scoring. Plus it didn’t hurt that I bet the over of the game. A rare NHL bet for me.
JP: Did you have good seats?
Jimmy: Yeah. Incredible seats, mid-ice… Great view. They were really expensive so I doubt I would sit there again.
JP: Was it an expensive night?
Jimmy: The tickets were close to $200 bucks each. I got three boys, no way could I spend $200 bucks a seat. I probably spent close to $100 bucks between beers, nachos, and an Uber ride. Not bad. About the same you would spend at a Patriots, Celtics, or Red Sox.
JP: Would you take your family to a game?
Jimmy: Well, I can tell you right now my wife won’t go. My sons would absolutely have fun. They love to skate, so they would be amazed at how fast the players are. However, I wouldn’t spend $200 a ticket. I would go with more moderate seats, since there’s four of us.
JP: You mentioned you took an Uber to the game, how come?
Jimmy: I refuse to pay $50 for any game parking. So I took an Uber to the arena, I forget how much but it wasn’t much. On the way home I took the subway which cost me $1.50 and I got home in 20 minutes.
JP: So the parking cost was the reason you took alternative transportation?
Jimmy: Yeah, that and I didn’t want to sit in traffic after the game. Nothing worse than everyone leaving the parking lots at the same time. It would’ve tripled my time home. Plus I’ve had such great luck with Uber.
JP: Would you attend an NHL game in Las Vegas?
Jimmy: It would have to be a really big hockey game for me to break up my vacation. Listen, If I’m in Las Vegas I’m there to win money. I don’t have many chances to get to Vegas, and when I do, I gamble. That’s why I’m there.
JP: Even If I had the tickets, and I invited you?
Jimmy: Well, if you put it that way. I know how much you love hockey, so sure absolutely. I don’t want your readers to think I’m a degenerate here… I can step away from the casino for a few hours. You can bet on the game though right?
JP: How does attending a live NHL game rank among the four major pro leagues?
Jimmy: There’s nothing like going to a baseball game. Even though it gets boring, it’s just fun to be outdoors in the spring and summer watching baseball. So MLB first. I grew up loving the Celtics and have probably been to more NBA games than anything else. I’d have to put the NBA second. However, an NHL game is right there. It was way more intense than a MLB or NBA game, I just don’t know the game that well yet. So MLB, NBA & NHL a tie, then the NFL. There is nothing worse than attending a live NFL game. The NFL was made for living rooms, that’s were you’ll find me.
JP: Will you pay more attention to the NHL now?
Jimmy: Yeah probably. I really just needed a reason and maybe this was it. Everyone has been trying to get me to watch hockey, including you. Plus, I’m kinda interested in what happens in Vegas. It would be cool to go to a game on the Strip. What are the names supposed to be again?
Jimmy: I dig the Venom, that sounds pretty cool and original. I’m glad they’re not going with a gambling name, the Dealers would be a disaster. Also, the Headliners and Knights I like as well.
JP: Do you think people will enjoy attending NHL games out here?
Jimmy: In Vegas? Absolutely. There’s so many sports fans in Las Vegas I can’t believe it. Every time I go I meet someone new, and this guys from NY, this guys from Chicago, this guys from wherever… And they all moved to Vegas, but desperately miss live sports. Guys like that won’t care how much it costs. Plus, it’s a new team, and the only team so it will be loved by everybody. Transplant hockey Dads will be able to take there kids to games… It’s great for Vegas.
JP: Will you promise to read the SinBin.Vegas religiously from now on?
Jimmy: Ha… Sure?… Are we done now? Did you want me to say something?
JP: Strike that from the record.
Jimmy: You’re weird. Good night