Each month of this season, the Volunteer Energy Red Patrol and MotorCity Casino and Hotel will team up to broadcast a Wings’ road game in MotorCity’s state-of-the-art Sound Board theater.
The theater boasts four bars, 15 big screen TVs, and a massive projection screen at the center of the stage.
This week, fans gathered at the first viewing party to watch the Wings take on the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night for the second time this season.
The atmosphere in the theater was similar to that of a home game at Joe Louis Arena: a sea of red and white-clad fans — young and old, families and friends — excitedly cheering on the team. When Darren Helm
scored nearly five minutes into the first period, the crowd went wild, the lights flashed, and a siren — not unlike the one at The Joe — marked the goal.
“I like everything about it. I feel like I’m there with the sirens, the giveaways, and everyone around,” Kathleen Knott, a fan from Southgate, Michigan, said as the Red Patrol gave away merchandise between periods. “And it’s free in case you can’t afford the game.”
Tickets to the viewing parties are free and include pizza and soft drinks, interactive games, a photo opportunity with the Red Wings’ Zamboni, an appearance from a Red Wings alumni, and a chance to win autographed merchandise and tickets to future games. Drinks and $1 draft beers are also available at the conveniently located bars.
Former Red Wings center Kris Draper signed autographs and got the crowd amped up at Tuesday’s party.
“It’s just nice to interact with the fans,” Draper said just before the game. “This is my home. I’ve been here for 18 years so to be able to come out, sign some autographs, meet some people — it just shows you the following that we have.”
Tuesday’s viewing party had an attendance of over a 1,000 fans, who watched the game from tables on the main floor and theater-style seats in the wrap-around balcony.
“We know how lucky we are; we know how fortunate we are to have this kind of following for a regular-season game,” Draper said of the energetic crowd. “It’s something pretty special. It’s something that we don’t take for granted.”
For Katie and Keith Alwell, parents of three young children, the MotorCity viewing parties are a great alternative to attending a home game. The casual, open atmosphere of the theater allows families like the Alwells to feel relaxed while keeping an eye on the kids.
“It’s a fun time. It’s family-friendly and it’s free,” Katie said while her son played mini-sticks with the children’s grandmother.
The next away game viewing party will be held on November 20 against the Anaheim Ducks.
All ages are welcome. Complimentary self-parking is available in the casino’s parking garage.
Tickets are limited and will be made available exactly two weeks prior to each viewing party date. They can be found at MotorCityCasino.com.