| Pat Vos has made a yearly tradition of spending a few nights in his tent outside the Xcel Energy Center. |
To those hoping to attend the Minnesota Wild’s Opening Night extravaganza against the Colorado Avalanche on October 5, but haven’t yet bought your tickets…better luck next year, and buy a tent.
To the victors – in this case, the folks who spent at least 24 hours camping out at the Xcel Energy Center to buy single-game Wild tickets beginning at 9:00 AM on Saturday – go the spoils of Opening Night.
One by one, ticket buyers peeled away from the Xcel Box Office Windows with tickets clutched in their hands and smiles emanating from unshaven faces.
As was the case last year, Pat Vos was the first to gain access to tickets by arriving at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday afternoon to set up camp. Vos was the first in line last year as well.
He emerged from the scrum with tickets for eight games, including the Grand Poobah of attractions for Wild fans – Opening Night, which sold out in 18 minutes.
“I’m really pleased,” said Vos. “It’s a long wait for five minutes at the window, but it’s quite a rush. It’s almost like Christmas. You’re waiting and waiting for it to come, and then it’s here!”
Jamie Spencer, the Wild’s Senior Director of Ticket Sales, was equally pleased with the events of Saturday.
“We had a good draw with a lot of familiar faces in line,” said Spencer, who said there were approximately 700 people in line and 50 who camped out overnight. “We’ve kind of developed a cult group following here of people. Nothing really surprising today, but I’d say there was more interest than expected.”
| This photo was taken at 5:30 PM on Friday afternoon, and the line only got longer from there. |
Several members of the Wild Sales and Service team also stayed with fans overnight to share in this unique experience. That included Jora Deziel, a member of the Service team who will embark on a new life adventure after her last day with the Wild on Tuesday, moving to Hong Kong.
“I had to do this once before I left,” she said. “These people are so fun and they tough it out to buy tickets. Where else do you see that?”
The camp-out group was moved inside on Friday night to avoid a thunderstorm that passed through in the late evening hours.
“I had a great time,” said Vos. “The Xcel hospitality people are great and it’s such a fun event.”
While Opening Night may seem like a lost cause for those without tickets, there is still time to purchase Wild tickets at the box office, as well as online via Ticketmaster beginning at noon. Just don’t wait too long. There have been 30,000 tickets sold as of Saturday afternoon.
“I’d expect about 10 to 12 games to be sold out today,” said Spencer, shortly before leaving the arena to take a much-needed shower and shave.