Thursday, July 27, 2006

We have our seats!

Doug and I went to our Select-A-Seat night last night at the Tank. We got dinner beforehand and talked strategy. There were certain sections that we were looking for, and price points we could afford. On the lower level, the seats on the sides of the rink (behind the benches and penalty boxes) were too expensive, so we were only prepared to take seats on the corners on the lower level. We agreed that we would rather sit upstairs than sit on the ends on the lower level. Your perspective of the far goal is just too poor, and lots of times you can't see play behind the closer net or in the corners.

As far as the upper deck goes, we could afford any seat except the very first row seats, which are quite expensive - more so than the corners downstairs. The first row is pretty sweet, unobstructed views (in the middle of the row), and you have a nice shelf to put your food and drinks. If we had to go upstairs, we would try to get as in the middle as possible on the side of the arena facing the benches.

We get there a few minutes early to sign in, then went downstairs with the rest of the group to the club for the "orientation". There were at least 50 or 60 people in our group, which was the first group of new season ticket holders. All the seats that were available had a colored piece of paper taped to it, with the color indicating the price. You couldn't reserve seats and then look for better ones- you sat in the seats you wanted and raised your hand, and a Sharks employee would write down what you wanted, and took the tags off of the seats. No changing your mind once you did that. The only odd rule was that you couldn't take a group of seats that would leave a single. So for us, we couldn't break up a group of 3 seats, or sit in the middle of a group of 4. Once they said go, we all piled out as fast as we could. Doug and I had a lot more urgency than most of the people- we were running around trying to find a good spot without falling down the stairs.

The biggest surprise was the number of lower bowl seats available. Quickly we noticed that the end of the arena that the Sharks attack twice was quite empty, but the other end (the Sharks' head end) had lots of green tags. We hustled over to the corner where the head was, and immediately sat down in a couple of seats in row 12. We were stoked! However, after looking at the sight lines a bit, we realized the protective netting pretty much covered our whole view of both offensive zones. Plus, the seats were so low were were not going to get a good view of one of the corners, or behind the net.

So we spotted a couple of seats on the aisle a few rows back, and sat down. These seats were even better. We had a more overhead view of the close zone, and the netting didn't obstruct the far zone. We spotted some row 2 and 3 seats in the upper bowl, so I ran up there to check them out real quick while Doug sat in our new choices. It turns out that even in rows 2 and 3, the railing that keeps people from going over the side really blocks a lot of action. You'd have to go up at least 7 or 8 rows to get an unobstructed view.

So we were sold! Section 124, row 20 on the aisle closest to the middle of the rink. Only 56 days until the first exhibition game. We can't wait.

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