Stars fans, the wait is almost over.
Dallas Stars training camp is less than one month away. Earlier this week the Stars announced their training camp schedule in Fort Worth, and it features the Cowtown Kickoff on September 19, the first day of camp. Festivities include a concert, Q & A with Stars personnel, a bounce house and a slap shot cage. It is sure to be a blast for all who attend. However, of the entire schedule of events, the best part for fans is that training camp is once again free and open to the public.
For the second straight year fans will be able to come to Fort Worth and get the first look at one of the most talked about teams this summer. They can see Jason Spezza’s first official practice in a Stars jersey. They can see who Ales Hemsky lines up alongside for the first time. They can see what Tyler Seguin looks like entering his sophomore season in Dallas. They can see a host of up-and-coming youngsters looking to make an impression and crack the Stars opening night lineup.
Then, after the three-day camp in Fort Worth concludes, fans will still have the opportunity to watch the team up close and personal back in DFW at the main training facility in Frisco. Once again, all for free. In fact, fans have that opportunity all year long. Practices in Frisco throughout the season are open to the public. You can take an early lunch, or swing by on a weekend or day off and watch the Stars mix up lines, work on their power play, and prepare for the game ahead.
Few teams throughout pro sports make themselves as accessible as the Dallas Stars. And furthermore, it is all free. Some fans already know about this and take advantage. They wait after practices in Frisco with jerseys, pucks, and pictures to get autographs from their favorite players. However, for a large portion of the fan base, it still unfortunately remains an unknown.
There is an incredible amount of excitement surrounding the start to this Stars season. There are also a number of big lineup questions. During training camp and the first few weeks of the season, there are going to be fierce position battles among forwards, defensemen, and goaltenders. The Stars have a handful of young prospects that many believe are NHL-ready and could have a huge impact on the roster immediately. But Dallas also has a complete roster of NHL contracted players, so something has to give. Will guys like Brett Ritchie, Curtis McKenzie, and John Klingberg do enough in training camp and preseason to take a spot that currently belongs to a more established guy? Fans can have a front row seat to find out, all without spending a nickel.
If you are a Stars fan and haven’t taken advantage of these opportunities in the past, there is no better time to start than right now. From mid-September, to opening night, and throughout the season, the team will be there on display.
It all begins September 19 in Fort Worth. I hope to see you there. And all season long.
Josh Bogorad is the Pre-Game, Post-Game, and Intermission host for Stars television broadcasts. He can be seen 30 minutes before face-off on ‘Stars Live’ and immediately after games all season long on Fox Sports Southwest. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshBogorad.