NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.
The year was 2004. I was vacationing with my then-boyfriend in beautiful Quebec City, spending four days over a New Year’s long weekend. We shopped, we ate, we visited museums and took pictures in the quaint city. The snow fell at a steady pace and we felt as if we had been transported to a winter wonderland. It was blissful.
Towards the end of our vacation, the boyfriend turned from the newspaper in excitement. “The Océanic are in town!” he exclaimed. “Who?” I questioned in response. “What?”
“I really want to see them play,” he continued without missing a beat. “There’s a player on the team who’s pegged to be the next Gretzky.”
He made a call to the hotel concierge who assured us that tickets would be easy to obtain from the box office at the arena. I hemmed and hawed at the idea of spending my last day of vacation watching minor league hockey, but I acquiesced when I saw how excited he was.
That night, I watched a fast-paced game of hockey at the Colisée Pepsi. The venue was intimate; a crowd of about 4,000 Quebecois cheered on their team, the Quebec Remparts. It was my first experience at a minor league game, and I was duly impressed with the heart and ferocity of the players on the ice. But that wasn’t why we were there.
“There he is,” the boyfriend said, pointing to a player on the opposing team. “Watch him play and remember his name. You’ll be hearing about him again.”
That player was Sydney Crosby.
(Photo: Ottawa Sun) Imagine. I watched Sydney Crosby play before he was a household name. I watched him score two goals and lead his team to victory; I watched as he skillfully maneuvered the puck with a superstar-like talent. And even though I didn’t know it at the time, the then-boyfriend was correct: I did hear about him again.
And that’s the beauty of the CHL; a chance to watch pro players get their start. CHL arenas are typically smaller for a more intimate experience; every body check against the boards and every slapshot at net seems to echo through the arena. The crowd is invested in the home team – not jaded by player politics. And it all goes down for a fraction of the price you’d spend on an NHL game.
(No, really. The average price of a CHL league ticket is just $20. How’s that for an affordable outing?)
Recently, I took my boys to see the Mississauga Steelheads play at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. It was their first live hockey game and the perfect way to introduce them to the sport. We felt so close to the action and spent a lot of time zoning in on players who were marked “top prospects”. Best of all, 1) we didn’t have to fight downtown traffic, 2) parking at the arena was free and 3) the entire evening out (snacks included!) totaled less than $70.
Helping us save money? AIR MILES Perks. You can now score 25% off select CHL games – no Miles required. What are Perks? Well, they’ve have been hand-picked just for AIR MILES Collectors and are available to ALL Collectors, just for having an AIR MILES Card. You can find deals nationwide or ones that are tailor made for your city; simply visit the website, select your region and check out all the promos and savings!
Thanks to AIR MILES Perks, I’ve discovered a fun, affordable way to treat my boys to live sporting entertainment. If you have a participating CHL league team in your area, take advantage of the savings! Visit AIR MILES Perks today.
BONUS! Two lucky readers will win a pair of tickets each to a participating CHL team! Simply leave a comment on this post telling me your home team, and who you’ll take to the game! Good luck.
This post is sponsored by AIR MILES. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.