Saturday, February 27, 2010


Yesterday I was very fortunate to be able to sneak into the Canada Russia quarterfinal hockey game for the last half of the third period. And by "sneaking in" I mean I was given an upgrade pass that allowed me to get into Canada Hockey Place. Even though the game was well in hand (YES!) when we got there, it was great to be there to feel the energy and to see the crowd.

I love how Vancouverites love their Canucks, especially Roberto Luongo. Even at BRT, when he was boarding the bus, you could hear cries of "Looooooooooou!" from outside the fence. Every time he touches the puck the crowd went wild.

We were also offered tickets to see the next game, Sweden vs. Slovakia, Canada's next opponent.
I wasn't sure who I was cheering for, I liked the Swedish team from being at Britannia (they smelled the best of any team that came in) but I think Canada would have a better chance with Slovakia. Since I wasn't really invested in a particular team, I paid more attention what was going on around the game. Despite missing three goals when I was in the washroom, I had a lot of fun.

You might have seen or heard about the Professional crowd pumper-upper guy. When I first heard about him, I thought that that was kind of sad that they had to hire someone to get the crowd going, but he is really fun and people love him and cheer their brains out when he is in their section. See this link for more info... They really use the jumbotron well to interact with the crowd showing all of the crazy fans throughout the arena.

In between the games, we went down into the operations centre for Canada Hockey Place. With a 12 team tournament they needed more organizational place than is normally there, so they turned one level of the parking garage into team storage, meeting rooms, and offices. I actually did not notice that I was in a garage until it was pointed out to me, they had erected walls, and carpeted the floors. it was a pretty amazing set up. We also looked at their workforce operations room. It is a lot more complicated at CHP with staffing compared to BRT. They have almost 300 volunteers for each game, compared with the nine that we have. Not all volunteers get to be in the arena. More than half are posted outside directing spectators, working at the screening tents or taking tickets.

I am really glad I was able to get in for a hockey game during my time here, I know that the next ones I will be watching will be on TV.

I am heading off to work now for the last day of practices at BRT. We have the men;s semi-final teams coming in, as well as potential demonstration by the Ant-Olympic group, so it should be interesting! More tomorrow...