I’m not a big hockey fan, but I do enjoy watching the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I discovered the sport while living in Detroit during second and third grades, which meant that I was destined to be a Red Wings fan. It’s a fast-paced sport that’s one of the best to watch live. Even after returning to Arizona, I’d routinely attend Phoenix Roadrunner games. By the time high school rolled around, however, it had been years since I had attended a game. And I hadn’t since – until last week.

I’ve definitely considered going – I even listed it on my 101 things to do in 1001 days list. And I tried to organize an outing with some friends the last couple of years. But the general cost and timing always seemed to get in the way. This year, with talk of the Coyotes being sold, I figured I needed to make it happen.

And while the outcome wasn’t what I hoped for – Phoenix won 3-2 in overtime – it was nice to have the experience and mark it off my list.

Here are some additional thoughts on the evening:

  • Free parking? I’m in! It was very easy to get in and out of the parking lots. I guess it helps that only a few thousand poeple are showing up for the game. BTW, iMarkMySpot is a great app for finding your vehicle afterwards.
  • Westgate looks like a blast. Many options to hang before and after the game.
  • The free food inspired me to buy the tickets, but it shouldn’t have. While it was easy to get it, after standing in the two lines where it was available, it was a limited selection and some of it (I’m looking at you hot dogs and nachos) was downright disgusting.
  • No wonder the Coyotes are going broke – their ticket prices are too high. The lower bowl is nearly empty while the upper decks are packed.
  • The Red Wings don’t look like the Red Wings of old. I hope they can pull it together as the season progresses.
  • Only the Coyotes would sell off naming rights for their will call window.
  • The Coyotes need to refine their crowd interaction efforts. First, skip calling them the “cai – yotes.” Second, get a better mascot. Thirdly, play a cool entrance video when the team comes out on the ice.
  • I was reminded of why football is my favorite sport. One of those reasons is that it’s simply hard to get too excited about winning or losing when you have another 80+ opportunities. There wasn’t much jubilation after the victory, most fans clapped and cheered for 5-10 seconds and then headed for the exits.
  • Anyway, it was a good time and inspired me to buy a Wings jersey, and I think we’ll try to make it out to at least one more game this season.

Check out the snapshots if you’d like.