By Trevor Jahnke
We were lucky enough to score two tickets to the game from the awesome people at Can-Am Spyder. Because of that, we were able to experience an amazing day.
I walked off the train with my brother and hundreds of other energized red and blue fans and funneled towards Yankee Stadium where thousands more waited. The new Yankee Stadium, the house that Jeter built, in just it’s fifth year is already the home of history. From the 2009 World Series, to Derek Jeter joining the 3000 hit club with a home run to left field, to the great Mariano Rivera’s last game in pinstripes, the new Yankee Stadium is not short on big moments for local fans. Now it was time for the Devils and Rangers and over 50,000 faithful to join that list.
Outside the stadium was a mix of amped up hockey fanatics wearing red, black, and green, or white, silver, and blue who were willing to shake off the cold for the chance to say “I was there” at very first hockey game at the Pinstripe Palace. And don’t kid yourself, it was that cold. With the wind chill, those at the stadium were suffering through single digit temperatures, and two periods of snow fall for good measure.
But, everybody had their way of fighting the elements. Blankets, coffee, outrageously overpriced hot chocolate, plenty of layers, and more than enough beer. Of course the beer did more harm than good, but that didn’t stop anybody. I even had two good friends dressed as bears… seriously, bear jackets under their Devils jerseys. Not only were they the biggest off-ice celebrities that day not named Southside Johnny, but I guarantee you they were the warmest fans there.
When the game finally started after a small delay from the glare, the hazard of playing outside, the atmosphere was highly energetic with the fans in the lower tier on their feet throughout the period chanting back and forth with their opposition. It reminded me of a European soccer match because it seemed, at that time that the fans were just as much a part of the game as the players were. In spite of the distance from the actual ice, one of the downsides of this particular event, it seemed like the energy did carry over to the teams.
Even as the game got out of hand, the environment in the crowd was fun and lively, and rarely became too mean-spirited. Although there were a few bad apples, most of the crowd knew that it was just a fun way to experience a single game in a long season. A game where, unfortunately for those of us in red, the Rangers took bragging rights.
The attendance for the game was 50,105, 186 away from it being at full capacity. Impressive, considering that the average attendance for a Yankees home game in 2013 was 40,488.
The last Devils v. Rangers game that I attended was the famous game 6, where Henrique’s goal sent Jersey’s team to the Stanley Cup. After the game I didn’t want to go to another game in the Hudson River Rivalry. I didn’t think anything could ever live up to it again. But, I broke that promise on Sunday, and I’m glad I did. Even though the Devs lost, how often do you get to experience history? This was the very first outdoor hockey game for my favorite team, in the Stadium of my baseball team. My fellow fans showed up and made it a great experience that I’ll never forget.
Of course, our seats were given to us by the awesome folks at Can-Am Spyder. For those of you who don’t know, they make some pretty fantastic vehicles. Imagine riding up to the stadium in one of these!
What is Can-Am Spyder?
- · Can-Am Spyder offers the exhilaration and adventure of open-air riding on the road, with confidence and control thanks to its three-wheel stance.
- · The Can-Am Spyder has a Y-frame design and 7 automotive technologies: stability control, anti-lock braking, traction control, semi-automatic transmission, power steering, cruise control, and reverse.
- · The new 2014 Can-Am Spyder RT offers even higher torque, a smoother ride, and fewer fill-ups.