To escape the winter cold, I planned a trip to Dallas for a few days to catch a Stars game and eat some good Texas BBQ. Though it was 70 degrees the day I arrived and left Dallas, it was in the high 30s every day in between.
I avoided the Dallas cold in an ice rink to see what Texas hockey is all about. Here’s what happened.
Game attended? February 11th, 2018 vs the Vancouver Canucks
I will start off by saying that I was rooting for the Vancouver Canucks. I’m not sure if it’s due to the stress relief of pulling for a team that there are no expectations for, or for Brock Boeser alone, but I enjoy watching the Canucks play. Sunday’s game wasn’t the best representation of the Dallas Stars, but it was exciting to watch the Canucks drop six goals on both goalies combined.
Where is the arena?
American Airlines Center is located in downtown Dallas. I only spent a handful of days in Dallas, but I felt that the exciting parts of the city lay on the outskirts. Downtown was pretty dead during the day, but the arena was easy to get to via train, bus, or Uber.
Why is it worth visiting?
After missing the playoffs last season, the Stars have been a competitive team throughout the 2017-18 season. They are continuously switching between the top three in the central division and a wild card spot in the west. Although Sunday they struggled, the Stars have a great chance of making the playoffs.
The team store had a ton of great merchandise, but it was set up in a windy format which made game traffic a little claustrophobic. The store appeared to have pre-printed jerseys and shirseys for almost every player on the team.
The player shirts had the names and numbers embroidered on, versus the popular screen printed version.
The in-game entertainment for the Stars was unlike anything I have seen. The best video feature was a reverse food cam, showing fans eating their food in slow-motion, to “Eat It” by Weird Al Yankovic. The sound team played amazing songs (at a very reasonable volume) featuring Two Door Cinema Club, S Club 7, Enya, and even Carly Rae Jepsen.
Within the first two minutes of the game, the Vancouver Canucks scored on a wraparound goal. The goal horn didn’t sound and there was mass confusion on the ice. The Canucks requested a review and Toronto was called. The Stars showed a fake AOL dial-up screen on the Jumbotron and played the dial-up tone over the speakers.
I also had the pleasure of attending a Dallas Mavericks game the night before. It was my first NBA game, and though I can’t compare it to other experiences, the Mavs had great in-game entertainment.
Cons of the arena?
American Airlines Center was a bit of a weird arena. First off, the concourse reminded me of a mix between a hotel and doctors office.
The biggest turn-off to me was how quiet the fans were during the game. The Stars’ performance during this particular game could be reason enough for the silence, but it was so quiet that the yells from someone sitting in the last row of the arena could be heard throughout clearly.
Fans also left in droves later in the game. It was noticeably emptier after the second intermission, and with 11 minutes remaining and the score 6-0, Stars fans were seen flowing towards the exits during a break in play.
Do they sell cotton candy? Yes!
I don’t know if I would specifically go back to Dallas for a game, but if I ever found myself in the arena I wouldn’t reject the idea. I would love to have experienced the full extent of the fans’ passion for their team, but it just wasn’t their day.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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