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Chicago Blackhawks: Maximizing A United Center Experience

By Sean Fitzgerald
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With the Blackhawks Convention over, the offseason has officially entered a dead zone. The next Chicago Blackhawks hockey-related event won’t be until September when training camp opens. After training camp, the defense of the Stanley Cup title will begin. There will be many more new Blackhawks fans at the United Center this season. I have decided to provide some helpful tips for new fans. These tips will seem like common sense to experienced Blackhawks fans but might not be common knowledge to people who have only watched games at home.

With that in mind, I thought it would be wise to share some tips on how to maximize your viewing experience at the United Center. Here are five tips to help fans better enjoy their time at the Madhouse on Madison.

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  • Tip 1. Arrive Early: A major mistake new Blackhawks fans make is arriving when the game is supposed to start. If you arrive at that time you will miss out on several things, like the pregame skate, the introduction montage and the greatest National Anthem performance in all of sports. Pregame skate is the time for energy to build before the puck drops. During the pregame skate, fans get to see their favorite players warming up and hear some of their warm-up selections.

    Next, fans get to the see the introduction montage. The montage shares with you the history of the Blackhawks. It traces back to those such as the great Bobby Hull while also looking at the current team. After the montage, everyone must rise and join soloist Jim Cornelison in the singing of our National Anthem.

    Tip 2. Cheer the Anthem: If anyone has ever watched a Blackhawks game, you know the fans cheer during the National Anthem. New Blackhawks fans should know cheering the Anthem is a MUST. It gets you and the Blackhawks fired up for puck drop. People will able to FEEL the energy in the United Center. The energy should be so palpable that it gives you goosebumps. It is also the BEST way to honor our great nation.

    Tip 3. Stay seated when the puck is in play: After all of the pregame festivities, Jonathan Toews comes on the video board at the United Center and reminds fans to be courteous when the puck is in play. You do not want to be that fan that obstructs someone’s view while the puck is in play.

    Tip 4. Bathroom breaks: If you need to use the restroom at the United Center and the game has already started, I recommend heading to the bathroom during a stoppage of play with two minutes or less to go in a period. This is the perfect time, in my estimation, because everyone goes to the concourse at intermission. If you go to the concourse before intermission, you will be back before the intermission ends. There are so many people that wait until intermission starts to use the bathroom and then are not back in time to see the beginning of the next period.

    Tip 5. Stay after the game: When the game ends and the Blackhawks win, they will skate to center ice and give the fans a salute with their sticks. Chelsea Dagger will be playing the whole time. After the salute, fans want to remain for the three stars of the game. Immediately following the three stars is the on-ice interview with one of your Chicago Blackhawks. The interviews are usually heartfelt and make fans feel even better as they leave the United Center.

    Those are my five tips on how to maximize your viewing experience at the United Center. Hopefully they’re helpful for new fans during their first few games at the United Center.

    With that being said, it is ONLY 74 more days until the Blackhawks raise the BANNER.

    Next: Grading The Blackhawks' Offseason

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