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NBA: Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks

24 December 2008 No Comment

Back in August, the Ultimate Sports Wife and I decided to visit her family for this year’s Christmas Holiday in the Villages, FL (about 75 minutes northwest of Orlando). I also wanted to take a weekend trip to Atlanta in November to attend an Atlanta Falcons game at the Georgia Dome and both an Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers game at Philips Arena.

However, after researching flights to both locales, it was going to cost more than normal to fly to each city (especially after airlines added all of the fuel charges this past summer). Since the three Atlanta teams were home around the Christmas Holiday, we decided the best option would be to combine the two trips and drive to Florida.

Driving to Atlanta
We left Chicago on Saturday afternoon with the goal of making it to Atlanta by 2 pm Sunday afternoon – tip off time for the Atlanta Hawks game. My initial plan had been to stay in Nashville Saturday night and go to dinner, but since we left later than expected we did not have time to relax in any city and drove until we were tired – we made it to Chattanooga, TN by 2:30 am ET – a two hour drive to Atlanta.

Obtaining Tickets
We arrived in Atlanta around 1 pm. We parked in downtown Atlanta for $6 (since we thought we might eat there after the game) and walked to Philips arena. On the way, I bought two tickets from a scalper for $10 each ($20 face value). However, there were so many scalpers selling extra tickets, I may have been able to get the tickets cheaper.

The Game
The Hawks defeated the Pistons 85-78. The Hawks led the game by 17 points in the 3rd quarter, but Detroit came back to make the game close.

Philips Arena
The $10 tickets I purchased were in the upper deck on the baseline. Usually seats on the baseline are only blocked by the basket. However, these seats have a catch. They are unfortunately positioned behind the Hawks’ pyrotechnic display – a flame throwing device that propels 10 feet into the air. Why fire and the Hawks mix – I have no clue.

The arena is laid out with the club seats and luxury boxes aligned on one side of the playing surface with upper deck seating on the opposite side. This is different than most of the new arenas which wrap the entire arena with luxury boxes – pushing the upper deck higher.

Post Game Dining
After the game, we looked for a restaurant downtown only to realize downtown Atlanta is completely shut down on Sunday’s. The only place open was the Hard Rock Café. Instead, we drove about 30 minutes south of Atlanta and stopped at a Chili’s in McDonough, GA for dinner. With downtown being so dead, trading a suburban chain for a city chain allowed us to get on the road a little sooner.

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