| Mid-season stadium
Part I: Southeast Division
By Jess Knaster
Over the past few weeks, you've probably
read many mid-season reports on the Sharks (or your favorite team) and how
they're doing at the halfway point, both as a team, and individually. As a(n)
(amateur) journalist covering the entire season, I feel it is my duty to crank
out a mid-season report as well. Now, before you close the window or type in a
new url, this report card is a bit different. As the Odyssey has dealt with the
fan aspect of the game, as well at the travel aspect of the season, I figured I
should provide a card that reflects that. This is part one in a four part
series of mid-season reports, each part will cover a different division, and
I'll be going down the division in alphabetical order.
Let's start with the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference, the one
Eastern Conference division I get to visit this year.
Florida Panthers @ BankAtlantic Center: 10/31
Building: B+. Relatively normal sized, lots of glass the only real downside are
the multiple concourses.
Seating Area: B. Good steep sightlines upstairs, big emphasis on sitting
downstairs, one of the larger lower bowls I've seen.
Atmosphere: C. The few fans that there were on this night were loud and decked
out in Panther Garb.
Concessions: B. Several bar areas, even more food court areas, great selection
upstairs and down.
Hospitality: B. In South Florida, they don't see many Sharks fans, so they
weren't mean at all, cept for that drunk Ranger fan.
Overall Grade: B. Beautiful building, great concessions, and a cool entrance to
the team store in the lobby (giant panther head), it's a shame that this place
has to be in the middle of a swamp. One step outside, even at 10:00 p.m. and
the weather makes hockey the last thing that comes to mind. The few thousand
that cheer for the Panthers night in and night out are good fans, it's a shame
they can't draw more in such a great building.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ St. Pete Times Forum: 10/29
Building: C+. Nice and huge outside, nice and huge inside, but it was
impossible to find the damn escalator.
Seating Area: B+. Even with room for 19,500, the Pete has great sightlines
everywhere, even way up in the rafters.
Atmosphere: A. Constant chants from loud, energetic, knowledgable, properly
outfitted fans. In Florida, no less.
Concessions: C-. Not a very large choice of food, but a large drink was only 3
Hospitality: B+. Only spoke to one Lightning fan, but he was very nice and
complemented my team on a good game.
Overall Grade: B+. A great building, great fans, and a wicked loud horn. A fun
place to watch a game, despite sitting in a plastic chair. Some good eats
nearby, and with the poor concessions, it might be the best way to get rid of
that hunger before or after a game.
Jess will be attending the following SE Conference games later this season:
- Washington Captials @ Verizon Center: 2/21
- Atlanta Thrashers @ Philips Arena: 3/22
- Carolina Hurricanes @ RBC Center: 3/24
Next up: Western Conference, Central Division
Contact Jess at
blog Sharks Hockey Odyssey
|What did you think of
this article? Post your comments on the