It kinda feels like hockey has been in downtown Allentown forever–but really, we’re only in our second season. As news came out about the team, the move, and the arena, the other Krams (Jr and III) and I did our due diligence.
We wanted to see if we really liked hockey. Well we knew we liked hockey, but would we want season tickets? We wanted to see where the best seats might be. We wanted to learn more about arena structure and gamedays and all the things we already knew so well from our multitudes of baseball games.
As the tax laws were being negotiated in Allentown, and the construction was being planned–well before they called me to sell me season tickets while I was standing on a friend’s deck overlooking the beach in Delaware–we began our research out of town.
First I’d like to take you to January, 2012. Four full years ago, now. We made our first hockey field trip–to see the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penuins at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Here’s what I wrote:
Based on some of the comments–and just because it was close–we made a trip to Reading to see the Royals in February, 2012. Actually, we made a couple trips–but this was my report following the first one:
You can see in the pictures in those posts–a lot has changed. Both of those arenas have upgraded their video boards and technology in the past four years.
After the one game in Wilkes Barre and several in Reading, I felt like I had a handle on what I wanted in Allentown. I set pen to paper–err, keyboard to computer–and wrote an “open letter” to Jim and Rob Brooks–the owners of the Phantoms. I based it on my experiences both with those hockey games above–as well as years of IronPigs games.
That post has gotten tons and tons of hits over the years. I sometimes wonder if either of the Mr. Brooks has seen it. How do you think I did, now that you’ve been to the new arena?
I did revisit it later on, but I won’t link that one right now. As a post-script, I did get to a game (or three) at Wells Fargo when the Phantoms dropped by. Here’s a post I did after the game there the following year, February, 2013:
Hope you enjoyed that trip down memory lane. Can’t wait to get back to hockey tomorrow…
See you at the arena,