My parents and I drove by the Denver Coliseum on our yearly pilgrimages to visit my sister Judy in Las Vegas.
As I saw the Coliseum billboard encouraging support of the Spurs of the WHL I thought how wonderful it would be to attend a game in their barn.
Years later, I will see the inside of the Coliseum as the Missouri Mavericks begin their season there next month.
From the minute I see the CHL schedule until the first puck drop I eagerly anticipate the season the way a child looks forward to Christmas morning.
While it is draining, I can’t wait for the three-games-in-three nights stints. The Mavericks will have nine of these this season.
I also look forward to the bus trips. This affords an opportunity to look at game notes, read, watch movies or take in scenery.
It’s a pleasure to visit with Mavs fans who have traveled to see their team on the road. Some have already made plans for away games in Denver and Rapid City.
Each building in the CHL is special in its own way. In Quad City and Rapid City I am close to the fans. Fortunately they are well behaved. While broadcasting games for Wichita and Topeka I encountered a fan in Oklahoma City who loved to ring his cowbell in my microphone. The night his Blazers were shut out in OKC remains a sweet memory in my career. After each encounter we smiled and shook hands.
The Allen Events Center, home of the Americans, is a replica of the IEC, but 35 miles away, the NYTEX in North Richland Hills, Texas has a broadcast location eight rows from the ice.
The Mavericks will play four games in Allen and visit the Brahmas twice this season in six different trips.
People make hockey special. I look forward to chatting with Greg who is the “voice” and chaplain of the Bloomington Blaze, Tyler, a young man in the Quad Cities who is so thankful to talk hockey, and other friends throughout the CHL.
All of these buildings are special in their own way, but nothing is quite as great as the IEC.