On any other day, Alex Steen
would be battling the opponent’s defense, trying to find open ice and opportunities to score.
But Sunday, he was battling teammate David Backes
in a competitive game of arcade-style horse racing.
The game, called D&B Downs, required the players to roll a ball around various obstacles, similar to skeeball. The harder the shot to make, the faster the horse would travel. Play continued until someone reached the finish line.
“I ended up winning. I went home the victor,” Steen said about the games. “I had some fans cheering me on. I think Backes’ mom called to wish him good luck, but other than that, he didn’t have anybody cheering him on like I did.”
All kidding aside, the real winners on Sunday were the fans who attended the team’s Season Ticket Holder Party at Dave & Buster’s in Earth City. Blues players spent several hours meeting with them and challenging them to games like D&B Downs, pop-a-shot basketball, NASCAR racing, golf and more.
Others, like Chris Stewart
, Cam Janssen and Ian Cole
, posed for photos with fans who brought personal cell phones and cameras.
“Giving back to the people who support you is going to go a long way,” said Stewart, who came to the Blues in a trade in mid-February. “Every game I’ve played in St. Louis has been sold out. The fan base here and the way they support the team through the tough times and the good times is really amazing.”
Blues Season Tickets come with plenty of benefits, but events like Sunday’s are just an added perk.
“Exclusive events like these are what makes a Season Ticket investment with the Blues so special for our fans,” said Todd Lambert, the Blues’ Senior Vice President of Sales. “Sure, you get 45 games with your investment, but it’s something like this that makes it a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Some of Sunday’s attendees have been Season Ticket Holders since the team’s inception in 1967. Others are new just this season. Mark Bassler has been a Season Ticket Holder since 2003 and said he thought Sunday’s party had a little something for everyone.
“I’m happy to see all the players here. It’s a good turnout,” said Bassler, a dedicated hockey fan who also traveled to watch the Blues play in Sweden last season. It was there he met his girlfriend, Jennifer Hay, who also attended the game overseas. Both Bassler and Hay have season tickets just six sections apart, but went all the way to Stockholm to meet.
“We owe the Blues a lot,” Hay said.Kevin Shattenkirk
, who also was acquired by the Blues in mid-February, was impressed when hearing Bassler and Hay’s tale on Sunday.
“That’s quite a story. It’s one to tell the grandkids for sure,” he said.
Shattenkirk added that he is constantly amazed by the level of support shown by Blues fans, both during the games and at Sunday’s Season Ticket Holder party.
“I think when you look around and look at the League, I don’t think anyone expects St. Louis to be such a great hub of hockey,” Shattenkirk said. “I’ve been blown away by the support here. Some people today told me they’ve had season tickets since before I was even born. It means a lot to us that they’re the ones there filling the stands every night and making the games exciting for us.”
Added Steen, “We do these sorts of things during the course of the year to show our appreciation to the season ticket holders. It’s fun.”