Saturday, March 27, 2010

Etiquette Question

by Anne

I have never attended an NHL game in another arena. The closest I've come was watching a game outside Mellon Arena during the 2009 Finals. While I was there, I was, of course, wearing my newly acquired Jordan Staal t-shirt and screaming my head off for the Pens.

This brings me to my question: on Tuesday I will be heading down to Nashville to watch the Kings play the Predators. I have never been a fan of the visiting team in an Arena and I'm not sure of the proper protocol. 

I have attended dozens of NHL games at HSBC Arena and encountered MANY visiting fans. There are some extremely obvious rules that I do not intend to break like heckling and taunting the seven Predators fans that will be there, drunkenly screaming, throwing things, etc.

My questions are more along the lines of: if the Kings score, can I jump up and cheer? Should I stay seated? I should probably keep the booing of the Predators to a minimum, right? How many Predators fans do you think will be there? I have no idea what average Tuesday night attendance is like in Tennessee. If they're playing like boneheads, can I yell at the Kings? Should I keep that to a minimum? If there's no one around me, I'm going to just scream my fool head off, k?

Nashville is not a hockey market I know much about. Are there any many diehard fans? 

I remember sitting behind a Red Wings fan in Buffalo once who didn't. move. the entire game. The Wings scored five times and she didn't move a muscle. Then at the end, she stood up, gave one irritating and obnoxious "WOOOO!" and left. It was probably more annoying than if she had just cheered for her team the entire time.

Those of you who have been to games in other arenas, help a sister out. Thanks!


  1. I have been to many opposing arenas. Actually, my first NHL game was in Detroit in 1995 and I was cheering for the Canucks. I went to the Winter Classic in Chicago and cheered for Detroit. I went to Dallas and cheered for Detroit. I cheered for Chicago in Columbus. It's a great time! (and I have been the visitor at many minor league arenas too..)

    It's really fun to cheer for the visiting team, and there is a 'proper' way to do it. Feel free to yell, cheer, clap and be loud all you want- after all, you paid money just as anyone else did.

    My philosophy is that you can heckle the team all you want, but be nice to the fans. There's noting wrong with a little back and forth- as long as it's directed at the team and not the fans. It can be a lot of fun with the right people around. A few weekends ago, I was in Long Island for an Isles/Devils game and we had a lot of Devils fans around us. I was starting the 'Let's Go Devils' chanting and the Islanders fans were giving it right back. We had a blast.

    On the flipside of that equation, I try to be polite to visiting fans who come to my arenas, as long as they aren't rude first. After all, they are in my city, spending their money- this is a good thing.

    So just be nice but be proud of your boys and have a great time!

  2. You have to be an obnoxious fan. I've been to a couple of Sabres vs Rangers games at MSG. Nothing feels better than having your team kick the home teams ass and seeing the faces of the home crowd. Cheer as if your at HSBC or the Staples Center.

  3. ANNE'S SISTERMarch 27, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    Don't hold back. You're making a lot of effort to get to this game. Let it out. No one in Nashville will probably give a crap anyway. And buy me a soft pretzel.

  4. ive never been ( came close to seeing the sabres play the pens at mellon once though) but if youre gonna be wearing kings gear, i'd say go ahead and cheer your face off!

    and plus, its nashville, so there'll probably be more kings fans there anyway ;)

  5. Thanks guys! I just checked the last couple of Tuesday night games and it looks like I can expect there to be ~15,000 fans in the Sommet Center which is now called Bridgestone Arena. The arena holds just over 17,000 for hockey. I'm guessing it won't be too packed.

  6. I've been to Sabres games in five or six other cities, and not even in NYC did I feel like it was frowned upon or otherwise inappropriate to cheer for goals. Whether it's a home or road game, that's mandatory in my book. So when the Kings score, yes, you should definitely jump up and cheer. You might hear a "sit down" but it's really not a big deal. Just ignore it.

    As for other fans, heckling them could be a bad idea as you said. I usually do the opposite and strike up friendly conversations with nearby opposing fans. For me, that's more fun and interesting because I like learning about the different perspectives other teams and fanbases have on the game.

    Keep in mind that if the Kings lose you WILL hear trash talk on your way out, especially if it's a blowout. I heard plenty of crap from CBJ fans after they shut the Sabres out in Feb. Not much you can do but grin and bear it.


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