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I went to a hockey game…

Once in a very long while I’ll do something that isn’t really “me”.  Today, I went to an NHL pre-season hockey game at GM Place.

It is worth while to note that I am not a sports person.  There isn’t a single sport that I watch: not football, not baseball, not hockey, not basketball…none of them interest me.  I don’t play them either.  Basically, I never really figured out the appeal.  The only sports that I ever got involved in even to a minor extent were things like track and field: sports without teams.  I think a significant part of it was that I hated being yelled at or teased as a kid, and team sports is all about being yelled at and teased.  When I ran the 100 yard dash and came in 13th out of 19 competitors, no one yelled at me.  I just had myself to blame, and that was okay.

So, back to the hockey.  Why, given my lack of sports interest, was I sitting in a stadium with 15,000 people, sitting in a seat that cost $120?  Well, firstly, it was a treat or reward given by my employer, so I didn’t pay for that seat.  Several of us had passed through a security review relatively unscathed, which saved our entire site from various negative outcomes.  Security reviews are time consuming and stressful, and the folks I work for recognized this.  Taking a few of us out for dinner, beers, and a hockey game was a nice thing for the managers to do, and I felt good to accept the thanks.

The hockey game wasn’t too bad.  It was a pre-season exhibition game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers.  Seven seconds before the end of period three (the end of the game) it was tied 4-4.  With 2.7 seconds left to play, the Canucks scored and won the game.  Now that was worth seeing, and even I, who doesn’t have much interest in the game, could get involved in the excitement.

The game having ended, it was now time to go back to my car and make my way home.  I parked in a lot right next to GM Place, and paid “event” parking rates- $25, which I subsequently learned was high- most “event” lots charge about $20, and some nearby spots go for as little as $6.  But live and learn- I didn’t know the area, and for a once-in-a-blue-moon trip to downtown Vancouver I can spring for convenient parking.

I have one complaint regarding the parking, though.  You’d think, having charged $25 a car for 400-500 cars to park for a total of perhaps 3 hours, that the parking lot could have sprung $50 to have a couple of guys direct traffic exiting the lot.  But no: what happened instead was  that those 500 cars tried to merge randomly into a space wide enough to let two cars pass.  That’s right, there was one exit from this lot.  It didn’t work very well….  And guess who manages the parking?  You guessed it, Imperial Parking, the masters of craptastic parking management Canada-wide.  There was, however, a homeless guy standing in amongst the exiting cars trying to get handouts…that made me feel really comfy about the security of my car when a homeless guy is watching over the lot instead of someone from Impark.

Oh, yeah…Go Canucks!

11 comments to I went to a hockey game…

  • Too bad they couldn’t pay the homeless guy to direct traffic.

    That’s what I remember from staying in hotels near GM place … a lot of cars drive in, clog up the streets, then they all drive out. The rest of the time there are a lot of big empty parking lots attracting “questionable” looking people.

    And yet there are people trying to convince us in Edmonton that we need to build an arena right across the street from city hall in the middle of downtown. Go figure.

    And oh yeah, it’s only the pre-season, the oil will whip you guys next time, rah rah, go team. 😉

  • Yeah, and Vancouver has one of the most “vibrant” downtowns in Canada, possibly in North America. Lots of people live there, but its not like a street party every night. People go to their club or whatever, and stay there until 2:00 am, then they walk two blocks back to their apartments. Huge crowds don’t wander around from quaint little street shop to quaint little bistro all day long, I guess. At least not outside of certain areas: the office buildings and so forth certainly don’t attract much of that sort of vibe. Neither you nor I are really the sorts of people who go “clubbing” or even go to the areas that attract such activity, so the areas we might look at in a big city, like museums and stores, sort of shut down after dark.

    I find the area around GM Place and BC Place to be…cavernous. I don’t know if that’s the right word, but it is all gigantic slabs of concrete, and barricade fences topped with razor wire, and elevated roads/walkways blocking out the sky. Not exactly inviting…but I suppose edifices intended to house and manage 50,000 people for “events” can’t really avoid being massive and intimidating. When the events are over, they become particularly disconcerting to be around, or at least they do to me. I don’t think massive stadiums belong in a downtown core, but…I guess it is convenient when they are.

    I imagine that the bars and nightclubs around stadiums also get a rush of traffic before and, perhaps, after a big event. But I don’t really see much else in the way of commerce impacting the surrounding areas from them. I mean, you don’t go shopping for clothes or groceries just before or after the big game or concert.

  • I seem to recall Davie as being quite “lively”. I guess the lesson to be learned is that the key to downtown revitalization is not to build a hockey arena but to bring in gay guys 😉

    The fundamental problem with all big single use buildings is that they are empty most of the time. A big office building is only occupied 8 hours a day or so, an arena is even worse. I think any mono-culture is not what you want downtown. I wouldn’t want all retail, all office or even all residential.

  • Yeah, single use structures have a deadening effect on the area outside their normal usage windows.

    Interesting factoid: my GPS went nuts around the GM Place/BC Place concrete maze. I’d speculate it was the massive amount of concrete and steel interfering with the satellite signals. For a while, my GPS thought my car was driving off in strange directions and going *through* buildings. This is particularly bad since all the roads there circle around and run at various levels, which meant I was already a bit disoriented.

    My solution was to drive far enough away (three or so blocks) to allow the GPS to get its “bearings”. Interestingly, about the exact time that the navigation system figured out where I was, so did I. Darn technology 🙂

  • Oblivions

    Ahh the Hot Cross Bun! When I was living in Burnaby a friend lived in a tower right next to it. The scary factor does indeed go way up around there in the dead of night especially. Might I suggest you just take the Train next time? I won’t anywhere near downtown Van unless its on the train or bus. I’ll be the first to admit the walk from the station of the Bun can be interesting if alone and dark but still a better option than trying to brave the Parking Gestapo set up.

  • “My solution was to drive far enough away (three or so blocks) to allow the GPS to get its “bearings”. Interestingly, about the exact time that the navigation system figured out where I was, so did I. Darn technology :)”

    Makes you take with a grain of salt all those claims about the pinpoint accuracy and infallibility of GPS targeted weapons doesn’t it?

    Between it sending us to prison and trying to drive you into buildings, are you sure that maybe your GPS hasn’t got it in for you? 😉

  • Re: taking transit

    Yeah, I thought about that- problem is, I had to go to work first, and wasn’t wanting to guess exactly how long it would take to get from Metrotown or whatever to GM Place.

    Re: GPS

    I think the military gets access to some time correction bands that increase the accuracy to about 4 cm. Plus I believe newer GPS receivers (I.E.: made since 2006) are using more capable processors/signal manifest logic. But yeah, the concrete stuff seems to cause it some difficulty, that’s for sure.

    As for the prison- I figure it was just trying to make a statement about us 🙂 And I’d *still* rather have a GPS any day than the navigation services of Kalen, you, or myself 🙂

  • Oblivions

    From Metro town to GM about 10-15 on train and 10 minutes walk from station to Bun.

  • Shane

    Next time Kelly, since I haven’t been to a game n a couple of years, and of course to avoid the traffick just give any spare Vancouver tickets to your nephew 😉

    I love the new uniforms colours, but they can get rid of that stupid whale logo anytime now 🙂

  • Shane

    Forgive the K in traffic..I blame the lack of coffee.

  • My navigations skills are greatly aided by having a map. And being in air or on ground. On water … not so hot.

    At least I never tried to steer you into a building :p

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