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!