Unfortunately we here in Baltimore do not have a minor league hockey team. For the most part our NHL team in a regional sense is the Washington Capitals. But Baltimore hasn’t had a minor league franchise since the 1996 – 1997 season with the Baltimore Bandits of the American Hockey League.
Baltimore hockey fans have a few options in regards to hockey. If you want to spend big bucks, you go to Washington. If you want to see college hockey, you go to Annapolis. But if you want to see minor league hockey, you have some choices.
Just 90 miles north of here is Hershey, PA. Hershey is not only home to the chocolate factory, or Hershey Park, it is also home to the Hershey Bears. The Bears play in the American Hockey League. They play at Giant Arena. Another choice is to travel to Reading, PA to see the East Coast Hockey League’s Reading Royals.
For only $60 I was able to buy four tickets and four vouchers for sodas and hotdogs. It was my five year olds very first game. Originally I had tickets for Saturday, February 6, 2010. My family and I didn’t make the trip due to that little snow storm we got that day. Oh yea, that blizzard.
I placed a emailed the ticket manager two days before the blizzard and explained that I wouldn’t be able to go. I wasn’t going to risk the safety of my family for $60. And by the way, they did play the night of February 6th. I asked if I could exchange them. The ticket manager replied and said absolutely. He told me just to bring my 2/6/10 tickets with me and that I would be able to exchange them at no cost. I called him and left him a message last week. He returned my called right away. I told him that I would be taking my family up from Baltimore for Saturday’s game. I just wanted to make sure we didn’t ride two hours for nothing. He left tickets for me at will call.
Well for $60 bucks you could not beat it. We were 11 rows from the ice. We got four hotdogs and four medium cokes. The game was very exciting. The Reading Royals beat the Toledo Walleyes by the score of 5-4 in a shootout. It was St. Patrick’s Day night at the Sovereign Center. The players’ sweaters were green rather than their usual purple. The Lion logo on their jerseys had a hat on it. We all received a green Royals cap at the door. We had a great time. My 13 year old had blast. My 5 year witnessed his first hockey game ever. He loved it. They were chanting “lets go Royals”. Going to Caps games is fun. But nothing beats the intimacy and pureness of minor league hockey.