Bud Light Legends Lounge: NHL Finals Game 2
It was the Ultimate Sports Wife’s and my first night out after the birth of our son three weeks ago. And, what better way to spend the night then at Game 2 of the NHL Finals (at least in my opinion). The only issue – ticket prices were insanely expensive. With prices this high, I would normally buy tickets ahead of time from a ticket broker. This not only avoids having to carry around a lot of cash but also guarantees your tickets. Plus, you will probably not spend much more than you would outside of the arena.
Beg, Borrow and Deal
Obviously, with ticket prices so high, I did my research for buying tickets to a championship game. But, tonight, I also decided to check the United Center box office to see if any tickets were available. Every so often playoff tickets are available several hours before the game (as was the case when I attended the Indianapolis Colts divisional playoff game earlier this year). However, tickets were not available at the box office, so I walked to Billy Goat’s – the main area for scalpers near the United Center.
As I write in the ticket buying guide, you must be careful when buying tickets on the street. As we were walking from the United Center to Billy Goat Tavern, I asked anyone and everyone if they had extra tickets. There were two scalpers who did and said the tickets were $400 (with a face value of $350). I thought to myself “Yea, right!” If it is too good to be true it probably is and the main reason to understand the actual market ahead of time. You may find a good deal but it will be within a certain price range. As soon as I looked at the tickets I could tell they were fakes and walked away. I almost ripped them up on the spot but feared the ramifications of that decision.
Once we arrived at Billy Goat’s there were no scalpers and no tickets available. This was going to be a tough ticket to find. However, we did run into Illinois Governor Pat Quinn who when I asked him gave me the run around about legalizing scalping in Chicago. Rather than wait at Billy Goat’s I went for a walk back to the United Center, circled the building and walked back to Billy Goat’s. The only tickets I found were $400 SRO – not the most romantic first night out with the Ultimate Sports Wife.
Once I got back to Billy Goat’s, I called Gold Coast Tickets (who has an office a few blocks away at 908 W. Madison St.). They had two sets of upper level pairs for $575 each. This was too much for me but not too much for Hospitality Jim and his friend. They bought the pair and drove to Gold Coast Tickets to pick them up about an hour before the game.
After they left, the Ultimate Sports Wife and I relaxed at Billy Goat’s and I began to give up on the idea of attending the game and instead started brainstorming what the wife and I could do with our new found money. Dinner at Charlie Trotter’s came to mind, renting one of the limos sitting outside of the United Center and riding around downtown Chicago was another and buying Nicole some jewelry was a third. But before we decided to do any of that, I wanted to walk back to the United Center to see if we could find any extra tickets for a reasonable price.
We went to the bathroom and as we were leaving found two guys who would sell their Bud Light Legends Lounge tickets if they sold for $700 each. Given the fact Hospitality Jim had paid nearly $600 each for upper level seats this sounded like a good deal. Plus, I had never sat in the Bud Light Legends Lounge. Of course, I tried to get them to lower their price. I first offered $600 each (I only had $1200 in my wallet). Then went up to $650 each and finally agreed on $700 each since they would not budge. But, now I needed more money and the ATM machine at Billy Goat’s was out of cash – not surprising given the high ticket prices.
The guys agreed to walk with us to the gate and I would get money out of the ATM at the Gate 4 ½ box office. This way we would also know the tickets were real before forking over all of that cash. And, speaking of knowing tickets are real – on the walk back, I spotted a fan about to buy fake tickets from a scalper. Note the NHL Finals are not using the Chicago Blackhawks horizontal ticket stock (the Blackhawks horizontal ticket stock is similar to a Ticketmaster hard ticket but uses the Chicago Blackhawks logo). Thus, the streets are full of these tickets that look legit but are not. I yelled to the fans those are fake and not to buy them. She left the deal immediately. And, of course, the scalper started to come after me but with Chicago Police located at every corner he did not get very far.
Our ticket ended up being valid and the Ultimate Sports Wife and I were attending the NHL Finals Game 2 in luxury – all you could eat and drink in the Bud Light Legends Lounge. Not a bad first date after your first child.
NHL Finals Game 2: Philadelphia Flyers at Chicago Blackhawks
First, I will start with our seats. The seats were great even though we were in the upper level luxury boxes – an area that appears to be so far away you cannot see anything. But, this is not the case as you actually have a good view of the game.
Second, the Blackhawks oversell the Bud Light Legends Lounge. Their “official” seats were all taken by the time we arrived, so we sat on the aisle at the end of the large suite. These “seats” were closest to the blue line and gave us quick access to food and drinks without having to make people move to get out of the row.
Third, Game 2 was the complete opposite of Game 1 as the defenses took center stage. The Blackhawks won a low scoring affair 2-1 to take a 2-0 series lead heading to Philadelphia. The Blackhawks two goals were scored within 28 seconds of each other during the second period.