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Cannon Blasts: Impressions

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I went to the Jackets’ demolishing in Tampa. But, game result regardless, it was fun.

The outside of Amalie Arena from “Thunder Alley” about 30 minutes before the doors opened.

This weekend, my girlfriend and I made the trek from Tallahassee, Florida to Tampa to catch the Jackets in action against the Lightning. It was a great trip, until about midway through the third period when we left early (but that was because I wanted to swing by the store...more about that later).

For those of you who have never made it to an away game in any capacity, I highly recommend it. This was actually my second time going to a CBJ game as a visitor - the first Jackets game I ever saw in person was actually an away game in Nashville in Marion Gaborik’s CBJ debut (remember when that was a thing?).

There isn’t a ton that stood out one way or the other, but here are my impressions/thoughts about being at the Lightning game as an away fan.

  • Thunder Alley is a neat idea, but it was pretty dead on a Saturday in early October (which, trust me, I’m not blaming when football and beach weather are still things). There was a band playing live music, there are beach chairs with the Bolt on it and if there had been more people it’d have been a great atmosphere. It’s also a place for watch parties, as when we left the arena, there was still about a minute left in the game and it was being projected on the side wall of the parking garage that backs up to it. Neat stuff.
  • The arena itself is...alright. There’s nothing really special about it and there isn’t a ton to see while walking around the concourses (and, of course, no cannon to go and take a picture next to). It’s far more impressive once you’re in your seat and in the actual “arena” part of the facility. It’s great: We sat about four rows under press row and you could see everything.
  • The one complaint; food prices are insane. A salted pretzel and dip and dots cost me $18.50. They had a hockey helmet-bucket of popcorn for like $17 that came with a $6 refill. I know food/drink isn’t cheap, but that might be the priciest I’ve seen.
  • While they don’t shoot off a cannon when they score, they do have actual electricity that rings out throughout the stadium. A conductor hangs between two chain wires and you can both hear and see the lightning. It’s rad.
LIGHTNING
  • The store situation was weird, but maybe only for me because I’m weird and love going to the store everywhere. So there’s a main store that has an outdoor entrance from the Thunder Alley and you have to take stairs to get up to (or down from) the arena. They do have other smaller stores throughout the concourse and the big store stays open (so I’ve been told) after the game, but we went once it was 7-2 to beat the crowds. I got a hat.

So, overall, a great night despite the result. The fans were great and I got tons of complements on my Thrashers jersey.

Columbus Blue Jackets News

NHL News

Sports News

  • The Red Sox have knotted up the ALCS with a 7-5 win over the Astros.
  • It’s CRICKET SZN, YALL. Australia and Pakistan wrapped up their first Test match (a five-day competition) with a draw. I still need to see the Australia chase because apparently it was quite the chase. ESPNCricinfo has you covered on it. (Again, any further questions I’ll be happy to answer in the comments.)
  • It’s shoty-hoops season and I’m curious, what do you think of my fantasy team? Also, I need a clever name.