Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scenes From the Road- Carolina and Columbus

The View recently traveled to Raleigh and Columbus to see the Predators in action. Here are some scenes from the road.

The RBC Center sits outside of town and at the northern boundary of the campus of North Carolina State University. The parking is very ample around the arena.

Carter Finley Stadium, the home of the N.C. State Wolfpack, sits 100 yards from the ticket office and main entrance to the RBC Center.

The Caniacs are famous for tailgating before the game. There were numerous tailgates occurring throughout the parking lot. Here are our hosts, John, Kendra, Dawn, and Karla. John and Karla were gracious enough to pick up the View and his guest and give us a ride to the game and back to our hotel. Very nice folks and avid hockey fans.

The Caniacs were also gracious hosts to fellow Predator fans Amands DiPaolo (Predlines), Jackson and Buddy Oakes (Preds on the Glass), and Ryan Porth (RLD Hockey).

The inside of the RBC Center from the main level concourse. Notice the Pred fans starting to assemble  on the glass for the pre-skate.

I would like to say that the members of the Storm Squad couldn't keep their hands off me, but the truth of the matter is they were trying to hide the Preds logo on my sweater.

The Predators pre-skate in the RBC Center.

The main entrance to the Nationwide Arena in Columbus. The arena offers easy access and multiple entrances.

The Arena District around the Nationwide Arena has been rebuilt and offers an abundance of restaurants as well as theaters and other entertainment venues. This view is looking across the street from the concourse of the Arena at the entrance to the 343 Club, one of the local establishments. On the top right of the building is an LCD jumbotron screen that plays Blue Jacket highlights as well as announces upcoming events at the arena.

The View and Mark Blake along with Joe Maggard, who owns a restaurant and another bar in the Arena District. Joe has invested substantial funds in the area and has two thriving venues, and was is one of the entrepreneur's that have made an early investment in the revitalization project around the arena.

As the Arena District was built, parking was at a premium. This garage was built over an actively used rail line. It was certainly unusual to hear a train blowing its horn and rolling through the garage.

This is a side view of Nationwide Arena at the Tower entrance. The pro shop is to the right. A practice rink is to the left.

This practice rink adjoins the arena and is used by the Jackets for practice and by the public for league games and public skate sessions. This is the view from the main concourse.

This is the inside of the Nationwide Arena. It has great sight lines and is a beautiful venue. The seating in the lower bowl is surprisingly cramped.

The Predators during the pre-skate before the Columbus game.

Getting ready for the opening face off. Notice the number of empty seats. There were maybe 10,000 people in attendance for a big rivalry game. The crowd was surprisingly docile and quiet until the last few minutes when it was apparent that the Jackets were going to win the game. In talking to several of the locals, they mentioned that attendance was a problem and a concern for the franchise.

And there you have it, friends. My view from the road.

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