Union College Hockey Game...A Miserable Experience.

I'll preface this post by saying that in no way do I like writing negative reviews of my experiences at sporting events. Sporting events should be fun not miserable. However, when a negative experience does happen, I feel obligated to my readers and fans to inform them of my experience.

I've lived in the the Capital Region of New York for the last six years, but never ventured to Schenectady, NY to see a Union College hockey game. My son had been asking to go to a hockey game and I thought it would be a good time to go.

I went online to purchase tickets at 11:00 A.M. and was informed via the website that online ticket sales closed at 12:01 A.M. last night. There was a number listed on the site, so I called it up and was told that there were "plenty of tickets available" by the person on the phone. So I wasn't overly concerned about getting tickets to the game.

After a  long day of running errands I left for the game with my son. We were both extremely excited to go to a new venue and watch some hockey.

We arrived at the arena at about 7:00 P.M, and were confused where to park. There was no parking clearly marked, and we were forced to park on the street like everyone else. They area where we parked was very "shady" and extremely dark. I was extra careful getting my son out of the car but we still almost got hit as we crossed the street. I asked a person who was directing traffic if that's where people parked and she said "Yes, just don't park in front of a fire hydrant."

I walked up to the arena tightly clenching my sons hand. We walked around the facility towards the front gate and into the entrance. As we walked in we were brushed by some drunk college students who didn't seem to care a four year-old was walking by them. We got in ticket line and didn't have to wait long to get to the ticket window.  I asked for two tickets, one adult and one child.  The girl said "the only tickets I have left aren't together but they are in the same row, so you shouldn't have trouble sitting together." I figured since I've never been there before I'd trust her judgement. So we got our tickets and entered the rink.

Tickets from the game
Upon entering the rink you are immediately feel like squished sardines. It's extremely tight and feels uncomfortable. The arena is very "rough looking." It looked like someone stuck a hockey rink in the middle of a high school gym. We walked around looking for our seat and had to try and decipher the numbers on the seats because the paint was so old and worn. Finally, an usher approached us and explained to us where our seats were. So we walked up to them and I immediately noticed they were the last row of the rink with only a metal bar separating the us from a 30 feet drop straight down behind the bleachers. No parent in their right mind would sit their child there for fear of their child falling over backwards. In most cases I would have gone to customer service and asked to have my seats switched but I could tell from the operation they have going there that wasn't going to happen. So I took it upon myself to move to a different seat. After sitting there for a few minutes, some people came up and told us we were sitting in their seats. So we moved. Then we were asked to move again, and again, and eventually ended up near our original seats.  As I sat there I felt uncomfortable that I was going to have to move again.

At this point my son was extremely well behaved and was keeping to himself. As the arena filled in we had some people sit in front of us which completely obstructed my son's view. Then a person sat behind my son, and it was so tight, it was like my son was sitting on the guys lap. The seats were so close together it was extremely uncomfortable. As the game started my son got antsy and start to move around but had no wiggle room and was accidentally kicking the woman in front of us. Finally after about 10 minutes of feeling completely miserable I walked down the bleachers and stood at ice level with my son. We stood there for a few minutes as I tried to snap a few pictures. Suddenly a guy who was also taking pictures felt the need to stand right in front of me and block my view. I decided to move to the other side of the rink but eventually got sick of standing so I decided to leave with my son. As we left the arena we walked by about 10 college students drinking beer, and acting stupid.

Overall, it was a terrible experience for my son and I. I always try to find a silver lining in every bad experience but I couldn't find one. The only positive part of the game is when I pulled into my driveway.

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