The St. Louis Blues are one of the most inclusive teams in the NHL by trying to make all their fans feel a part of the organization. Thus, the Blues are doing all they can to make sure fans can see a game at the Enterprise Center, even if it might not be a home game.
OK, the title of this article was a little tongue-in-cheek. In all seriousness, the St. Louis Blues are one of the best organizations in the NHL when it comes to taking care of their fans.
With that in mind, it actually is quite appreciated that the Blues are going to be holding watch parties for all away games at the Enterprise Center. This gives all fans a way to experience the Stanley Cup Final without paying something resembling a semester of college tuition.
The Blues are not responsible for setting ticket prices for their home games. Once you reach this stage, or so I have been told, the NHL sets the prices for face-value tickets, if you can find one. After that, the secondary ticket market takes those prices and does what a free market will do with such things. Supply and demand, unfortunately.
That means if you want to go to a home game for the Blues in the final, you are likely to pay over $1000 once all the fees are added on. Some people will chalk it up to a potential once in a lifetime scenario and others will have to watch on television since putting food on the table takes precedence, even if they are the most die-hard fan ever.
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From this point of view, that’s what makes these watch parties so nice. I attended the one for Game 5 against San Jose and it was a blast.
The crowd count has varied anywhere from 10,000 to nearly 12,000. I would guess on the lower end, but the lower bowl was quite full once everyone had shown up.
They played organ music and stadium to drown out the NBC intermission crew at times. They kept the volume on the play-by-play at a level that you could hear it, but you did not hear it (in a good way, since NBC gets tiresome at times).
There were pregame introductions and the concessions were open. The one gripe is the stadium will need to open more food stands if they want to keep people happy.
The best thing about the watch party? You get the vibe of being at a game, with all the pageantry and fan excitement for a hundreth, or in this case thousandth, of the cost.
If you are a season ticket holder, you get into the Enterprise Center for $5. If you don’t have any ticket plan, you still only pay $10. There are parking fees around the arena, but in the case of Game 5 of the conference finals, the fees were less than during a home game.
Those are incredibly affordable prices and the only thing missing from the experience is actual players on the ice during the game.
While we would all love the Blues to clinch at home (myself especially since I might be getting Game 6 tickets…), can you imagine the atmosphere in the arena if the building was still packed for a Game 5 or Game 7 clinch? Instead of having everyone scattered across the city and multiple counties, you could have close to 20,000 Blues fans packed in there, sending the good vibes across the country.
It should be said that we do not know if they will open the entire arena. In the conference final, only the lower bowl was open to keep people from wandering around. I can only imagine the response will be even greater for this generational experience.
So, get out there and enjoy the final with your fellow Blues fans. These watch parties have been and should be great. And they won’t ruin you financially for months.