I love Twitter. I love that it introduces me to great people and fans of teams all across the country. I’ve had the privilege of meeting a lot of great AHL fans, and while I didn’t get to greet Erinn personally this weekend, she was great enough to put together a review of her weekend in Charlotte. When I visit new arenas (like I did last season with Peoria/Rockford/Chicago/Milwaukee) I enjoy putting together my thoughts and observations about the new venues. This is just as interesting to me, because I got to read what visitors to my beloved city see! So, without further adieu, Erinn’s recap! You can follow her on Twitter at @atxstarsgirl
Road Trip to Charlotte
We arrived at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Friday afternoon and hopped into a cab and made our way to uptown. We checked in at the Aloft in the Epicenter. Wow, what a great location so much to do within walking distance!
About an hour before game time we made our way over to the Time Warner Cable Arena and strangely were metal detected. We’ve only run into this at one other arena and that was in Cleveland. I would say it’s a basketball arena thing but we don’t have to do this in San Antonio or Houston. Maybe we’re more trusting in Texas?
One of the things that first struck me about this venue is that I couldn’t tell it was a basketball arena. In Cleveland, San Antonio and Houston its very obvious that this is a hockey rink worked into a basketball arena. Kudos to Charlotte for getting it right. The next thing that struck me about Charlotte was the fans. Everyone was so very nice and accommodating! Not a nasty comment the entire night. In fact, just the opposite. The fans here are just as passionate about their team as Mark and I are about our team.
We had the chance to truly enjoy a unique event in the Old Time Hockey weekend at Charlotte. We ended up staying in the same hotel as the Hanson brothers and kept running into them. They were fun to watch at intermission and the bit with the kids chasing them off the ice was priceless.
Saturday day Uptown was invaded by 1000’s of green clad Charlotte residents in town to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. We enjoyed the parade and spent a long time at the street festival. It seems all we did all day was eat!
Saturday night we went to the viewing of Slapshot at the Studio Movie Grill where we had the chance to meet some of the Checkers players and I must say their reaction to us in our Stars gear was priceless, one of the players, I think it was Matt Marquardt, did a double take and said “I don’t like your shirts, but hi.” Then as we were headed to the theater one of the other guys yells “Get ‘Em!” and then lunged at us, all in good fun. Made us both laugh!
Finally on Sunday we enjoyed another game at Time Warner Arena, our fan experience this time was just a great as it was on Friday (The fan yelling at us to go the “F***” home not with standing). We rather enjoyed watching the kiddos in the box between the two benches playing and watching the game and watching our guys smile and wave at them.
We’ve been on many hockey trips in the last two years, this one completing our quest to hit every arena in the Western Conference. Mark and I both agree that our trip to Charlotte was just about perfect. Thanks for having us, wish we could come back in April!
What we recommend:
Stay: The Aloft in the Epicenter, they have a Charlotte Checkers Rate!
Eat: We enjoyed Ri Ra Irish Pub, Merts Heart and Soul, Roosters and Mortimar’s was great for people watching on Saturday afternoon.
Texas Stars Hockey Fan