After being a Blue Jackets supporter and season ticket holder since the team's inception, David H. Clark said he dropped his phone when he got the call that had won a trip for two that included travel to a road game on the team plane, tickets and a hotel.
Clark said he won the prize as a result of his early season ticket renewal. The day one upper bowl season ticket holder said he has always renewed early, which makes him eligible for prizes such as the trip on Blue Jackets Air.
Clark and his 17-year-old daughter, Celeste, attended the Dec. 1st game against the Canadiens at the storied Bell Centre in Montreal. Although the Jackets fell short to the Canadiens, the father-daughter duo said the trip and the game was an once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Here’s a Q&A about their experience in Montreal:
How excited were you when you found out that you won this trip?
David: “It was phenomenal, because the 14 prior years that I did the early ticket renewal and stuff like that, I had never won anything bigger than Cedar Point tickets and then I go from there to the top prize, so that was pretty neat.”
Celeste: “I remember when he called me and told me about it. He texted me and said ‘call me as soon as you can.’ And I was at school, so I called him at lunch and he told me we won the grand prize for the Blue Jackets and we were going on a trip with the team, and I was like ‘no, we’re not. You’re just kidding around. We’ve never won that.’ And he said, ‘Yes, we really are.’ And I was so excited."
David: “That was after I picked the phone up from dropping it when Carmelo called me and told me that we won. It was cool. It was a great experience, and Carmelo and Kelly were wonderful through everything, so it was really nice.”
What was it like to experience traveling to Montreal with the Blue Jackets?
David: “It’s a great city. A true hockey town. They do everything first class there. (There were) very few Blue Jackets fans there, obviously, but it was a great time. First class all the way.”
Have you always been hockey fans and supporters of the Blue Jackets?
David: “We’re Day 1 season ticket holders. (Celeste’s) probably been going since she was about two years old. I was a Columbus Chill season ticket holder back in those days. We enjoy hockey a lot, and we’ve been here since the beginning.”
Have you ever traveled to another city to watch the Blue Jackets?
Celeste: “No, I haven’t, and it was a lot different than a Blue Jackets game. Everyone there was more for the hockey, it was almost quiet when they were playing because they were so into the game. It was amazing, the atmosphere there.”
What was the highlight of the trip?
David: “The game experience, for me, was just phenomenal. You've got almost 22,000 fans — that’s the largest arena in North America — all there to see hockey. It was phenomenal.”
Celeste: “I liked, personally, just seeing all the players walk onto the plane, because we got to be on the plane first, so all of the players walked on, and they all said ‘hi.’ Every single one of said hi, and they were really friendly. It was cool seeing them, outside of hockey, all of them dressed up and that was pretty cool. That was probably my favorite part.”
Celeste: “Jody (Shelley) was so friendly. So was Jeff Rimer, I sat right next to Rimer, he was across the aisle. He asked me everything about basketball, school, everything. They were so nice.”
David: “Getting off of the bus from the airport, there were people seeking autographs right as soon as we got off the bus. I even got hit up for an autograph, but I chose not to sign. I didn’t think they wanted mine.”
Other than going to the game, what else did you do while in Montreal?
David: “We toured the downtown (area). It’s an older city with a lot of history. We walked down by the riverfront and went to some nice restaurants there — a couple that (the menus) were all in French that we had no idea how to read, but (the food) was good. People there were very friendly.”
Celeste: “We went to Notre-Dame Basilica, it’s an older cathedral. It was really pretty inside.”