Bright lights, the big city and a pretty big hockey game. Safe to say it wasn't a bad day to be Blue Jackets season ticket holder Joe Woods last Monday night.
Woods won tickets to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between New York and Los Angeles at Madison Square Garden as part of the Blue Jackets' 2014-15 season ticket renewal campaign. By renewing his season tickets early, Woods was automatically entered into the Blue Jackets Renewal Sweepstakes and his prize was a big one; he and a friend jetted off to New York City to see the Final up close and personal at the newly-renovated MSG.
Going to the Cup Final is a great prize, but there were several other prizes available in the team's renewal sweepstakes. Among them? The chance to go on the road with the Jackets on Blue Jackets Air, a trip to the 2015 NHL Winter Classic, autographed and game-worn team apparel, and a special lunch with Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen and president of hockey operations John Davidson.
Woods admitted that it was a great surprise when his name was drawn for the Stanley Cup Final tickets.
With two tickets in hand, he and friend Joe Herban fought through some travel headaches and made it to the Big Apple with time to spare before Game 3. Woods, a first-time visitor to New York City, was very excited to visit one of America's biggest cities and and experience the pleasure of hailing a taxi.
“Catching a cab was crazy,” Woods said. “Being at the game was crazy.”
Woods and Herban enjoyed the atmosphere of the Stanley Cup Final, but both were left wishing that they could watch the Jackets compete in June - really, they just can't stop thinking about the playoff environment in Columbus this past spring.
“The energy was great in the building,” Woods said of MSG. “But the energy was better at Nationwide Arena during the (Blue Jackets') playoff games.”
Looking ahead to next season, Woods said his excitement level is “off the charts" for Blue Jackets hockey. He's a new father, so he will be on the half-season plan in order to make time for his new child, but plans on coming to as many games as possible.
“I’m very excited for the puck to drop in October," Woods said.