2013 Tour

Watching sports from the comfort of your own home is great, but seeing the games live and in person can be just as exciting...if not more. I go to as many games as I can, as long as it fits in with our family schedule and financial budget (tickets and food at the games can get very pricey!!).

I wanted to document my experiences at all of the sporting events that I attend this year. I've attended my fair share of games in the past and feel that I can offer some helpful tips to people if they are planning on visiting these
places in the future. 

My first tour stop brought my to Lawson Ice Arena, home of the Western Michigan University Broncos hockey team. The Broncos (currently ranked 10th in the country and coached by former Los Angeles Kings head coach Andy Murray) played host to Lake Superior State University in front of the largest crowd of the season (4,342) and didn't disappoint as they won 3 - 1, extending their winning streak to 4 games. 
With the large crowd present, the atmosphere was very exciting. Although I like to see a lot of scoring, I was very impressed with the defense that both teams played. Next time I go though, I probably would sit away from the Lawson Lunatics (the name for the student section). I love their enthusiasm, but I could do without the swearing and heckling of the other team. I realize that it has its place at all sporting events, but it's just not my style. 

If you are going to grab a bit to eat while you are at the game, don't expect anything fancy. The food choices offered are similar to what you would find in any ordinary concession stand (pop, pretzels, candy bars, popcorn, etc.). 

If you're looking for some exciting hockey at a reasonable price, definitely go and watch this team play. Coach Andy Murray is building a fantastic hockey program right here in Kalamazoo and I hope that Lawson Ice Arena sees more nights like the game I was at where the stands are filled. Go Broncos!

Frank Slubowski...Goalie Extroadinare

The Lawson Lunatics...'nuff said.

Look!  It's Oscar Goldman...get it?  Oscar Gold Man?

WMU Broncos Head Coach Andy Murray (center with yellow tie)

Time to Drop the Puck!
Here Come the Broncos!

The Broncos had a lot of shots on goal...so we had a great view of a the action.

WMU ended up outshooting the Lakers 41 - 19 in route to their  3- 1 victory

Some of the championship banners hanging in the rafters...hopefully they can add another one real soon!
More banners...

Througout the game we could tell that these two teams weren't exactly on the friendliest of terms

Notice the Lake Superior State player?  He is smiling...every time there was a skirmish by our seats we could see that they were smiling!  

One of the Lake Superior State players got so angry that he literally blew his top!  No really...it's laying on the ice.

The second stop of the 2013 Tour brought me to University Arena, home of the Western Michigan University Broncos men’s basketball team.  I was excited to go because it had been a LONG time since I went to a WMU basketball game.  In 1992 I attended the final regular season home game at what was then called Read Fieldhouse.  Unfortunately, I never went back until this past Wednesday.  Not sure why it took me so long to go back…life got in the way I guess. 
I have to say, University Arena is a very pleasant basketball arena.  There isn't a bad seat in the entire place (seating capacity of 5,421) and it is very clean.  Unlike the hockey game I attended, there weren't any curse words or obscenities being shouted (at least that I heard). 
The prices at the game were very affordable for the money that we paid as well.  Our tickets for the game were free, but they normally will run you _________.  The seats nearer to the court will naturally be a bit pricier, but if you prefer being so close that you can see the beads of sweat on the player’s heads, knock yourself out.    I choose to sit farther up.  This way I can see the entire game and get the full experience. 
Parking is free, and WMU offers a shuttle taking guests to and from the game to the parking lots across the street where they parked.  The food is what you would expect to find in a normal concession stand (hot dogs, popcorn, soda, etc.). 
One aspect that I took away from our game last night was the free range to walk anywhere that people seemed to have at the arena.   A few minutes before the 2nd half started, I headed down to the concession stand to grab our food and came out right by the court.  I probably could have gotten closer but was too chicken to try. 
All in all, it was an enjoyable time.  Western beat the Toledo Rockets 79 – 56 to improve their record to 9 – 7 overall (1 – 2 in conference play). 
I’m excited to go back…sooner than before…I promise.

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