Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tim Hortons Heritage Classic Vancouver: Fun Times Inside and OUTSIDE of BC Place

by Lisa Ovens

Over the last few days there has been a lot of chatter regarding ticket sales for the Tim Horton's Heritage Classic Hockey Game in Vancouver featuring the Ottawa Senators and the Vancouver Canucks. So much so, that I can hear it all the way down here in Florida! First of all, I would love to be at this game if I could. Just look at this artist's rendering of the affair...

Link to photo
It's a spectacle, people!  The recent attendance worries expressed in news articles from around the hockey world reminds me of something I have said before about Vancouver, and will say again...

Vancouver is a last minute kind of city. People always seem to make plans for what they are going to do, right before they have to do it. I've done it, everyone I know has done it. RSVP's seem to flood in right at the deadline. Remember Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics? The world's media was totally second guessing us Vancouverites and our apparent lack of interest in the games leading up to the big opening day. But, we were like, "Okay, Feb.12th is tomorrow, time to bust out the Red and White," And, what did we do? We showed up...BIG TIME, just "givener" for 16 days straight! So, it's quite possible, this game is going to come together at the last minute, NHL event planners...don't despair!

I have yet to take in an event since BC Place was remodeled and re-opened back in the Fall of 2011 (that's my own fault). Man, if ever there was an event to attend for Ms., it would be this one. I am comforted knowing, my cousin, Jennifer will be there reporting back to me as the day unfolds on Sunday, March 2nd, 2014. One thing that I am super happy about: this event will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network:  Hooray for temporarily displaced Canadians like me and all of the US Hockey fanatics intent on completing the entire Stadium Series on TV!

Although it appears NHL event organizers are experiencing some difficulty getting people inside BC Place for the game, they are certainly making it easy for hockey fans to check out the free festival outside of the dome. Seven words...

Olympic gold medal-winning National Women's Team!! Yes, members of Team Canada's kick ass women's hockey team will on hand to chat about THAT AMAZING GAME and other stuff, plus sign autographs during the hockey Festival that will take place between 9am and 1pm in the parking lot outside of Plaza of Nations which is right across the street from BC Place. This festival is actually called the Canadian Tire NHL Spectator Plaza, because, technically speaking, you can't have Tim Horton's without Canadian Tire lurking around close by.

Yes, there will be a Beer Garden (hockey and beer...a marriage made in heaven, I always say) sponsored by Molson's, nothing shocking about that, eh? And, there is also nothing shocking about an appearance by the Vancouver Canucks Team circa 1993-94 - those perennial hockey darlings responsible for our second appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, and the closest Canucks fans have ever come to winning a Stanley Cup. God love that team!!!

But, most of all, this event truly does celebrate the history of Hockey in Canada, and Vancouver in particular. So much hockey has been played in this fair weather town long before the Rink on Renfrew, The Garage and whatever Rogers Arena is now nicknamed...another Phone Booth?

So, it does sadden me a little when I read the comments and opinions out there in hockey cyber space; the ones that are dismissing this game simply on the grounds of the current NHL standings of the Sens and the Nucks, or the other ones throwing the evil side eye because they are card carrying members of the "That's Not a Hockey Rivalry" Debating Team. It's times like these that I wish the pure love of hockey could transcend all the bullshit!

Well, that's my two cents on what's going on in my hometown. Here's a Go Canucks Go for the boys this weekend! And here's hoping for the NHL's sake that on March 1st the peeps in Vancouver are like, "Hey, tomorrow's the 2nd...where's my Millionaire's jersey...dudes and dudettes...we gotta go!"

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