I’m back, hockey fans! I completed my second visit to Phoenix for a hockey game, and I have to tell you, those Coyotes are winning over this hockey fan’s heart. In fact, I am already calculating how I can become a season ticket holder there, and continue my Canucks STH status here in
Vancouver. Sounds a little crazy, but I must say, Hockey & High Heels Phoenix Divisiondoes have a nice ring to it. Here are my reasons for craving hockey in the desert…
10) Developing Westgate entertainment/shopping/Hotel district
Westgate is located right on the doorstep to Jobing.com Arena, home of the Phoenix Coyotes. Westgate boasts great bars and restaurants with plenty more to come when the shops and boutiques move into the new buildings. Hmmm… Hockey, shopping, delicious eats, cool beverages and plenty of sunshine...talk about a hockey Mecca for this Canadian fan!
9) The Flying Taco
Yes, a flying taco. During intermission a colorful flying taco takes to the skies in Jobing.com Arena. The kind of taco that drops prize envelops on the fans. Not the other kind of flying taco that appears in our dreams, speaking about peace while handing out colorful beads. What? I’m the only one who sees that taco??
Okay, the day I landed there was a ripper of a rain/thunder storm creating havoc all over the valley, but once that left town it was business as usual for the Sun. Geez, that Sun sure does a good job.
7) The Howl
Coyotes fans have their very own unique cheer: the howl. In NHL hockey, no one can howl but these people. No one. When the crowd howls…you can feel it everywhere. Which leads me to...
6) Sound quality
The Coyotes have the newest NHL rink in the land; therefore they have some of the best technology going. The walls are coated in a special siding that actually improves the acoustics dramatically compared to the older rinks. The music breaks sound great, the Howls and cheers are sublime. Could you imagine the sonic bliss of a live musical performance??
5) Coyotes Analyst, Darren Pang
I had the pleasure of meeting Darren at the rink. Panger is extremely friendly and his dedication to the game has been known to go beyond his duties as television hockey analyst for the Coyotes. (More on Darren’s commitment in my next column)
4) Cool stuff
This was sweet: they gave away grab bags to everyone entering the gate. From calendars, to bobble heads to miniature Coyote cars – everybody got a bag with a gift. The next game everyone received a retro Coyotes clock for crying out loud!
3) Wayne Gretzky
Okay, I had to mention the Great One...because he is the Great One! For the Coyotes, what looked to be a promising season back in October has sort of tanked. However, I still must praise Wayne for having the courage to test his metal as head coach. Wayne, I think your hard work will pay off: I predict the Coyotes will make the playoffs next year.
2) The people
All hands are on deck ensuring hockey is accessible to everyone in Phoenix. From the Group Sales department, to event staff and the guys and girls in Fan Development, these behind the scenes Coyotes are making hockey happen in the desert.
1) They Invite Women to the Game!
I attended an exclusive Phoenix Coyotes promotion for women only, which lasted the whole day, including a Dallas Stars/ Coyotes game as the main event. I thank the Coyotes for giving their female fans the ultimate opportunity to learn about hockey and experience the game at ice level.
Please stayed tune for another “report from the field” as guest columnist Helen Peterson is in Los Angeles for a Canucks/ Kings game. We’ll get the low down on hockey happenings in LA from Helen when she returns next week.