I grew up so close to British Columbia, Canada, that I joke about being “practically Canadian.” Growing up in Northwest Washington not only gave me an ever-so-slight Canadian accent, it also made me a hockey fan. After all, hockey is a national religion in Canada.
Originally a Vancouver Canucks fan, while I was in college in Spokane, Washington, I was introduced to live hockey in the form of Spokane Chiefs games, and they were totally awesome.
Today, I live a stone’s throw away from the Budweiser Events Center, home of the Colorado Eagles. After a several year hiatus, Ryan and I attended the Colorado Eagles v. Idaho Steelheads game last week, where we were reintroduced to the loud, rambunctious fun that is live hockey.
We were also reminded that there are no fans quite like the Eagles fans – they are hardcore crazy about their team, and rightly so. In their 15-year history, the Eagles have gone to 14 consecutive playoffs, have played in six finals and have won three championships.
“This has been a very, very successful club on the ice,” says Gavin Riches, assistant general manager of the Colorado Eagles.
We attended a Wednesday night game, and the stadium, which features 7,200 seats, was nearly full. Even before the game started, the electricity of the crowd was palpable and this energy never dissipated.
While the Colorado Eagles provide world-class entertainment, these games are all about local love; the team’s connection to Northern Colorado goes beyond local sponsors, and these relationships are visible at each and every home game. For instance, the introduction of the team included kids from local youth hockey teams and a moving rendition of the National Anthem sung by a local middle school choir.
Prior to attending this game, I spoke to Visit Loveland’s director, Cindy Mackin, about what this team means to Loveland.
“Loveland is so fortunate to have this amazing Kelly Cup-winning organization right in our backyard,” she says. “The Colorado Eagles are a HUGE draw regionally, bringing thousands of people to Northern Colorado and Loveland every year and serves as a major driver for tourism economics.”
As the game started, it occurred to me that hockey is like a ballet on ice. As the team works in unison across the rink, it’s like a dance, albeit a bit rougher than Swan Lake.
The intensity of the play and the intensity of the crowd never wavered during the game, which was a close one. Jock rock played during every stoppage on the ice and organized entertainment occurred during the three intermissions.
In the end, the Eagles pulled off a 5 to 4 win against their Western Conference Mountain Division rivals.
New since our last visit, the Bud Light Balcony, a new bar area with a terrific view of the ice, is great for the 21-and older set. It would be an excellent area for a group to rent out for a fundraiser or other type of party. I also love that several of the concession stands in the Budweiser Events Center feature several local food vendors.
If you’d like to experience a night at a Colorado Eagles game, this is your chance to win tickets. Thanks to First National Bank, the Official Bank of the Colorado Eagles, you can enter here to win four tickets to the Colorado Eagles v. Tulsa Oilers on Feb. 28, 2018.
This blog post is part of my series of posts sponsored by First National Bank and their #WeGrowAsOne Campaign. First National Bank knows that growth in the community starts with growth in the local economy and I believe that’s a major reason they picked me, a local, Colorado blogger, to help out with this campaign.
Keeping with the spirit of their campaign, enter this ticket giveaway by telling me your favorite local business in your community. Please be sure to leave your email address when prompted in the comment section.
A winner will be chosen at random on Friday, February 9, 2018, so get your responses in and share this giveaway with a friend. Winner will have 24-hours to respond before the runner-up is chosen, so please leave me an email address that you check on a regular basis.
Good Luck & Go Eagles!
This post sponsored by First National Bank.