Photo credit: Geoffery Kehrig | Flickr
Inside A Canucks Game
Rogers Arena is one of North America’s most active venues, and throughout the year, it hosts some of the world’s top entertainers. But nothing gets this state-of-the-art building more electrified than when the Vancouver Canucks take to the ice during hockey season. Most Vancouverites will attest that the buzz surrounding a Canucks game can be felt miles away from the stadium on city streets, and all over province on each game day. But it really doesn’t hit home until you step into the arena on Griffiths Way and into the home of the Canucks.
The instant you walk into Rogers Arena, you are greeted by the unmistakable aura of a hockey arena -- the tingling feel of the crisp air on your skin, the smell of beer and popcorn wafting from the concession stands, the sound of rock ’n’ roll music blasting from the sound system and an army of revelers proudly sporting their blue-and-green Canucks colours while scarfing down pre-game hot dogs.
Yes, this is Canada. This is hockey. And this is what it means to be smack-dab in the middle of Canucks Nation. Hockey is serious business in Canada, and when the game is on, it’s all eyes on the ice. But before it all gets going, taking a stroll around the arena is an experience in and of itself and it is particularly worthwhile if you’re a first-time visitor.
One of the popular concourse attractions is the Luc Bourdon Wall of Dreams located at the Gate 3 entrance. The wall commemorates the life of the late Luc Bourdon, the Canucks defenseman tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in May 2008. It also boasts an inspiring display of hockey pucks honoring British Columbia’s rich hockey history.
Another must-do on the hockey fan’s list is the pre-game skate from the lower bowl 30 minutes prior to puck drop. Watching the teams go through their warm-ups has become a ritual in hockey arenas all across the NHL, and doing so pressed up against the glass makes the experience all the more intimate. Stake out a good spot and you might be able to high-five a player or two as well. Just watch out for flying pucks.
But when it comes down to it, you come to a Canucks game for the game itself. Even a casual observer will get caught up in the emotion and excitement of the contest when you’re surrounded by more than 18,000 of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans in the city. You can literally feel the energy from them as they try to will their beloved Canucks to victory.
From the oohs and aahs heard each time goalie Ryan Miller makes a glove save, the roar from the crowd when B.C.’s own Dan Hamhuis delivers a bone-crunching hit and that feeling of intense jubilation when Henrik Sedin fires home the game-winning goal in overtime — it’s easy to lose yourself in the excitement and drama of the game. After a while, you’ll be screaming at the top of your lungs, doing the wave, dancing in the aisles and chanting “Go Canucks Go!” as if it’s second nature.
Tickets for Canucks games don’t come cheap, but those who have attended a game will tell you it’s worth every penny. Their testament is backed by the fact the team had a consecutive sellout streak of 474 games in a row, only recently broken in 2014, making a Canucks game one of the most exclusive places to be seen in Vancouver.
So whether you’re a diehard hockey fan wanting to witness professional hockey at its highest level or you’re just looking for Vancouver’s biggest party this winter season, head to Rogers Arena and you’ll quickly discover why, as they say in Vancouver, “We Are All Canucks.”