First off, let me say, I love hockey. The first signs of fall don’t make me think of Halloween or pumpkin spiced whatever. It reminds me that hockey season is about to start. Every September, the Chicago Blackhawks kick off the beginning of their season with a training camp festival. It is a celebration of a new season and the fans who support the organization.
Tickets are only $5 per person. ONLY $5.00 people! You do not need to be a season ticket holder to purchase tickets. You don’t even need to know a season ticket holder to purchase tickets. This ticket will provide entry into the festival and into the United Center for the scrimmage game. You still have to pay for parking but even that is discounted.
The festival is an all-ages event but there is something for everyone. From an adult perspective, there was a giant beer pong game, bags, and beer. There was a band playing and plenty of opportunities for photo ops.
In the parking lot, they had the Blues Brothers car, a Blackhawks race car, and a Hawks Zamboni.
In the new atrium, you could get your picture taken in front of a mock-up of the locker room.
There were plenty of chances for meet and greets as well. Tony Esposito, Denis Savard, Troy Murray, Steve Konroyd, and Eddie Olczyk were all on hand this year for autographs and pictures.
Then there is the game. First, let’s go back to the cost of attending. Since everyone is paying $5.00/seat, the ticket is general admission. The upside of this is that, if you get into the rink early enough, you can get a prime seat in the 100 level. On the glass even. The downside is that, since it is general admission, you need to get into the rink right when they open the doors to get great seats.
They play a full three period scrimmage. Most would assume that, since it is just a scrimmage, you will not be seeing the top skaters. Not true. Not only are the big names (Kane, Toews, Keith) on the roster, they play through the third period. While it’s great to see the regular players return to form, my SO and I like to see how the prospects/rookies look and maybe get excited to see what they could bring to the team this season.
And best of all, whether you are Team Red or Team white, at the end of the game you can still shout – HAWKS WIN!
Don’t forget to walk around the United Center (inside and out) at some point. They have a new atrium area with a HUGE fan store. Outside, you will find some great statues honoring some great players. Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, and the 75th Anniversary statue are all worth a visit.