Have Game? Will Travel!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Chicago Wolves are 2008 Calder Cup Champions

It is not everyday you witness a team clinching their league’s Championship. Last night, I attended Game 6 of the Calder Cup Finals at Allstate Arena. The Chicago Wolves beat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (not sure who agreed to that team name) 5-2 to win the 2008 Calder Cup – 4 games to 2.

Before the game, I bought my ticket from ticketmaster.com. I did so because I still had a $16 Ticketmaster gift certificate and the last time I saw the Wolves there were neither scalpers nor fans with extra tickets outside the arena. That game I ended up paying $12 at the Box Office so I thought I would use up my gift certificate this time (yesterday’s ticket cost $19 with Ticketmaster fees).

Chicago fans must have been starved for a championship. I had to wait in the longest line I have ever seen at a Wolves game to claim my ticket at Will Call. Last night the Chicago Wolves drew almost 10,000 fans compared to only 5,000 fans for Game 1, 7,000 fans for Game 2 and around 4,000 per game for the rest of the playoffs.

After the game, the AHL and Chicago Wolves partook in all of the typical championship celebrations. The team was ecstatic and all of the trophy presentations took place. Jason Krog who scored a hat trick in the game was named MVP of the Calder Cup playoffs.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chicago Wolves over Chicago Cubs?

In what might be a first, I am choosing to attend the Chicago Wolves game over the Chicago Cubs game tonight. In what should have been considered a no-brainer a few factors affected my decision.

1) I already sold my tickets to the Cubs game tonight.
2) The Chicago Wolves are playing in the Calder Cup Finals – an event I have not attended. I did attend the Turner Cup Finals on June 2, 1998 when the Wolves were in the IHL Championship Series.
3) The Wolves could clinch the League title tonight.
4) However, the #1 reason maybe that the Allstate Arena is on my way home from work and breaks up my hour plus drive home.

I am beginning to understand why I barely attended any games during late 1998 and all of 1999 when I worked out of the same building.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

AHL Playoffs: Western Conference Finals Game 1

I arrived at the Allstate Arena about 45 minutes early. That gave me enough time to walk around the Target Shopping area adjacent to the arena. The shopping center has a couple of sit down restaurant – Chili’s and a Steakhouse (not sure of the name). I walked into Chili’s and it was packed. Many people were Chicago Wolves fans and there were a few Cubs fans coming back from the afternoon’s Cubs game.

I ended up eating at Subway and then tried to find a ticket outside the arena. With no scalpers and no fans having extra tickets, I bought a $12 ticket at the window. There were a few fans that were pulling off the “Chicago Cubs / Chicago Wolves” doubleheader. For some reason the game did not start until 7:55 pm. I though it might be because the smoke was lingering to long from the introductions.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Chicago Wolves: Free Meal?

Last week, Nicole said she was invited to see Jersey Boys tonight. She asked if there was a sporting event I was planning to attend but at the time, there were none. I checked the regular websites – ticketmaster.com for Chicago and Milwaukee, allstatearena.com and searscentre.com – nothing, no events for tonight. The Cubs are home this afternoon so that was out. Thus, I thought I would relax this evening at the house.

Then on Tuesday, the Chicago Wolves won Game 7 of their 2nd Round AHL playoff series vs. the Rockford Ice Hogs. Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals was then scheduled for tonight at the Allstate Arena for 7:30 pm. Since the Allstate Arena is on my way home from work I am planning to attend.

The Chicago Wolves are running a promotion for their playoff run. For every non-discounted ticket priced at $20 or more (cheapest ticket above $20 is $25 for an individual), the fan receives a free pre-game meal. This offer is only valid for the first 500 people who purchase the pre-game meal ticket. I debated whether to buy the pre-game meal ticket since I will probably get off work around 5:30 pm and be able to arrive when the meal starts at 6 pm.

However, I checked ticketmaster.com this morning and the pre-game meal tickets are sold out. After thinking about it, that probably works out better for me. First, beer is not included with the dinner. Second, without the meal I would plan to buy a $10 ticket. Thus, this whole package deal sounds enticing for the average fan but in reality this game is not worth much overall. At most, I will pay $10 from the box office and I will still have $15 to buy whatever I want. Plus, I may be able to find a free ticket from a fan outside the arena giving me even more money for food.

Now my plan is to buy a $10 ticket at the box office (and hope for a freebie), once I arrive at the arena.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Chicago Wolves Playoffs

As I mentioned last week, the Chicago Wolves are the only Chicago based team in the playoffs. Last night, I went to Game 5 between the Milwaukee Admirals and the Chicago Wolves at the Allstate Arena. I actually bought a ticket (through Ticketmaster) before the game. There were two main reasons I chose to buy the ticket through Ticketmaster (paid $21.55 for a $10 ticket):

1) The game started at 7 pm. However, I had a meeting for work that was supposed to end between 7:30 and 8 pm. Since I would miss the first period I needed a ticket in hand. The Wolves cut off ticket sales after the first period. Since it was minor league hockey, I was not too concerned with missing the first period.
2) We still had $37 worth of Ticketmaster gift certificates that I wanted to use. I generally never use Ticketmaster since I normally buy tickets outside the stadium for less than face value.

I arrived at Allstate Arena around 8:15 pm. Since the first period was over they were no longer collecting money for parking, so I saved $11. I walked into the arena as the second period was starting. The Wolves were already up 2-0 and won the game 4-1.

On a side note from the Calder Cup Playoffs, last night's game between Philadelphia and Albany in Albany, NY went 5 OT periods - the longest game in AHL history. The game ended at 12:39 am. The game in Chicago last night was not nearly as exciting, but I was also asleep by 11 pm.