My seat is very high and the view is obstructed, but the hot dogs are yummy and the pre-game introductions are superb.
Truthfully, I have no idea what it’s like to watch a game in San Jose from anywhere but the press box – it’s a completely different experience sitting in the stands, especially lower bowl.
The official Canucks California Road Trip, presented by Toyota is back for a third year; March 5 & 6th, Canucks fans will descend upon San Jose to take the local scene by storm. This is one of the coolest experiences a Canucks fan can have and you can read here about taking part, but that still doesn’t answer my original question: What’s it like watching a game in San Jose?
Here are 6 Things you should know about entering the Shark Tank, from Canucks fans who have survived the experience.
ALL IN GOOD FUN
“I think it’s just the overall energy of the place that makes it special. I've been to all the California arenas and Phoenix to see the Canucks and it’s just always special when I go to the tank. The Sharks and Canucks seem to pull the best play out of each other and it’s really fun to see live.
"The most intense game I've been to was Game 3 of the playoff series in 2013. It's hard to explain how crazy it gets in there. Shark fans are very vocal which makes it an amazing rink, but also annoying when the Canucks are losing. I love the sound of silence every time the Canucks score a goal in the tank. It's beautiful. I've always gotten a bit of ribbing on my way out of the tank when we lose, but most of the time it’s all in good fun.”
Play For This @ThrustyPrusty89
“I was actually surprised by how many Canucks fans I met at the San Jose games last season, not only California fans like myself, but superfans from Canada as well. One guy I met travelled to San Jose from Rodney, Ontario, just to see the team play! Apparently he had been following the team on a road trip of his own. Typically there are not too many Canucks fans at the San Jose games and we are spread pretty thin throughout SAP Center, but it creates a special sense of camaraderie when we run into each other – especially if our team is winning!
"As can be expected, a lot of chirping goes on between the Canucks fans and the San Jose fans, especially considering we’re division rivals and the points are all too important coming down the homestretch of the season. A lot of the standard chirps about the Sedins and Burr can be heard, although I like to think that the opposition wouldn’t talk about them if they weren’t doing something right."
HIGH FIVES EVERYWHERE
“I'm from the bay, so my first games were all at the Shark Tank. It's definitely an interesting experience; pretty much all Bay Area sports arenas have some flavor of veggie burger, which I quickly realized was not the norm when I went elsewhere. Sharks fans are very used to getting the bottom of the barrel treatment when it comes to Bay sports teams, so they're either incredibly dedicated or devil-may-care, no in-between. By and large, they're great, much less confrontational than other fan bases. One game I went to there was a line brawl directly in front of our seats (I actually found a gif of a friend and I yelling and goading them on), but after it was over, the Sharks fan next to us high-fived us in glee. It's also, of course, amazing cheering with all the other fans heading out after a win. High-fives and guttural yells go to everyone you see!”
ORCAS HAVE TEETH TOO
Eric Cheng @each3ric
“I work in SF and I have gone down to SJ a couple times to see the Canucks. I was actually there this week at the Sharks/Sens game in my Canucks jersey! I got a few weird looks. It’s a cool experience – especially when the Canucks are on their California road trip and there are a lot of fans. Taking the Caltrain down from the city I often see people dressed up in their Canucks gear and everybody is high-fiving. Sharks fans are loud but don’t heckle nearly as much as in LA or NY. I’ve only been to 6 arenas outside of Vancouver, but it’s pretty clear that we’re the best represented of those at Sharks games.
“One thing to know: right before the anthems they have this silly tradition where they yell ‘Hey [away team], you suck!’ but it gets all muffled so you can’t really understand them. It’s good to know it’s coming and not be confused into thinking it’s a ‘Hey Canada You Suck’ chant or something like that. Even though you could get heckled, it’s also funny to do that silly shark jaw thing with your hands when the Canucks go on the PP like the Sharks fans do when they go on the PP…orcas have teeth too I guess.”
Ryan Hewitt @RHewitt777
“I think what makes the Shark tank so fun for Canucks fans is the atmosphere. The fans are very passionate and fairly knowledgeable. The sight lines are excellent and the building is loud. You feel like you are on the bench with the players.
"As for the food, we are 30 minutes from the garlic capital of the world, Gilroy, so maybe the Garlic Fries. Those always smell good. San Pedro square is a neat place to get a beer and to choose from an assortment of different cuisines pre-game or post-game. I know Pierre LeBrun loves Original Joe's!"
Paul Tonsaker @PrisonBull
"After the game 4 win in the playoffs in 2011, we stayed late and chanted around the HP Pavilion concourse. We knew being up three games to one we had a great chance at advancing to the SC Final. Upon exiting, my friend's cousin gave the drunken exclamation, "THIS IS AN AWAY GAME!" Bret Hedican was doing post game colour and was mercilessly heckled on their live broadcast. We managed to wander back to the Old Wagon Saloon but the doors were shut to any new customers. These guys showed up and were told they couldn't come in. Thanks to some familiar faces, the Old Wagon Saloon made an exception and they went in. The city was quite nice and they treated us very well. I highly recommend visiting other cities to watch the Canucks. These memories last forever."