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01-29-2013, 01:22 AM
The Wizard of Özil
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Long Island
Quick review of my recent Tampa experience...
Came down for the TB/OTT game this past Friday. Stayed at the Crowne Plaza on W Kennedy Blvd, booked it for $109 on Priceline.com. There were cheaper options but I was with the lady friend and wanted to stay somewhere decent. Was very satisfied with the hotel, would recommend it for sure. Clean, easy access, took less than 30 mins to get to the arena on a Friday night. Traffic wasn't too bad. A little congestion over the bridges but nothing crazy.
Arena was beautiful. First time there, so obviously not sure what was renovated and what wasn't. But I was very impressed. The new jumbo tron is absolutely gorgeous. Definitely enhances the viewing experience. Sat in 315, 3rd row. Seats were excellent, paid $43 a ticket. Great view. Absolutely can not beat it for that price. If only tickets at MSG were so cheap
Perhaps the thing I came away most impressed by was the atmosphere. Fans were into it the entire game. They were really passionate about hockey. Warm weather, southern US hockey cities often get a bad rap (mostly fueled by Canadians) but you could tell there's a definite hardcore fan base in Tampa. Could definitely feel the appreciation the fans had for Vinny Lecavalier during the pre-game ceremony celebrating his 1,000th game. Being a huge Lecavalier fan, that was an awesome treat to be on hand for that. Not to mention it was a great game. Lots of action. 10 goals. Couldn't have asked for more.
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