NHL Playoffs: Flames at Blackhawks Game 2
Sometimes it is hard to determine which sporting event to attend in any given day. The Ultimate Sports Wife, who is also a synchronized figure skating coach, had scheduled her team to compete in the National Synchronized Ice Skating Competition in Orland Park. With the Chicago Cubs scheduled to play the St. Louis Cardinals at 2:40 pm Saturday afternoon, I was hoping her team would compete Saturday morning – giving me time to drive back to Wrigley Field in time for the game. As luck would have it, her team was scheduled to compete at 4:32 pm – right in the middle of the Cubs game. Since I had promised Nicole I would attend, the Cubs game was out.
However, since Orland Park was directly south of Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL, I thought I was clever enough to plan to attend the Chicago Fire game Saturday night after the skating event. That, of course, was before the Chicago Blackhawks were scheduled to play in Game 2 of their first round playoff series versus the Calgary Flames. Nicole, who was exhausted after her day of skating, dropped me off at the United Center at 7 pm – plenty of time to buy a ticket for the 8 pm start.
I did not have a ticket before arriving at the United Center since I was unsure whether I was attending the Chicago Fire game or not. Before Game 1 of the series, tickets had been available in the upper deck for $50 each (face value). I thought this price was too high and that I could get a better price outside the stadium. However, with the Blackhawks OT win on Thursday night, Game 2 ticket prices increased and were hovering slightly above face value for Game 2 on craigslist.org.
After one trip walking around the United Center, I quickly realized there were no extra tickets available and that most fans were looking for tickets rather than trying to sell their extras. Finally, outside of Gate 2, I found a fan that had an extra ticket. He had supposedly paid $160 each for four tickets. I noticed that face value for his ticket was $95, so I offered him $100 – a fair offer given the fact I had not found an extra ticket outside of the arena but knew tickets were not selling for much more than face value. He accepted the offer.
Ticket Buying Tip: When there appears to be a lack of extra tickets outside of the arena or stadium, be sure to ask as many people as possible if they have extra tickets. You will be surprised how many people you would never think have extra tickets actually do.
For the first time since 1995, I sat in the Club Level of the United Center. The Blackhawks came back from a 2-0 1st period deficit by scoring 3 unanswered goals in the 2nd period. The Blackhawks won the game 3-2.
Before the game, Mike Ditka dropped the ceremonial “first” puck. As Chris Williams of the Chicago Bears did Thursday night during Game 1, Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs participated in the Blackhawks promotional puck shooting contest between the 2nd and 3rd periods.
After the game, I met “Blackhawks Jim” and his wife Maureen at CrossRoads – the same place we ate dinner before Game 1.