I just got back from the Stadium Series game at Levi’s Stadium and I had a pretty good time. I went to last year’s game in LA and that was my measuring stick for this one. It didn’t meet the excitement and standard to the LA one, but there were a few highlights.
First of all, I love outdoor hockey games so this one was nicely set up. The ambiance was pretty unique and the setting of the California terrains and the water with the bridge was really unique and nice to the setting. Aside from the actual game, which made me sad because the Sharks lost, there were some few interesting things about the experience that stood out to me.
They kept encouraging fans to be loud and displayed a decibel meter but it never got loud enough to make any significant difference. That was foolish. After all, Levi’s Stadium is still too new and the identity of the place doesn’t warrant such a gimmick.
I did like that they trotted out old school Sharks players out for introductions along with an orchestra. I liked that the Sharks recognized their history. However, the performing acts were very weak. Kris Allen did a song before the game and I didn’t know who he was. John Fogerty did the first intermission and since I am a CCR fan, that tickled my fancy. Melissa Etheridge did the second intermission and it was terrible. She was not a good choice to hype up a hockey game and her cover of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” was not good at all.
I picked up a program, a game puck and two pins at the merchandise stand. The main team store was packed and I just went to a kiosk. They were pretty quick so I just went that route. I also wanted to try some nontraditional foods and ended up getting curry. The chicken tikka masala, considering it was stadium food, was pretty good. I really enjoyed it and had a nice bowl with some naan right before the game started.
Now to the game itself, it was pretty tough to see the puck when it came to a certain part of the ice (as you can see in the picture of where I was seated). I had to look at the video board mostly.
The Sharks had a lot of great opportunities in the second to take the lead but could never put together a consistent offense. They were a little sloppy in the passing department and the Kings got some great opportunities, including the go-ahead goal by Marian Gaborik. The Sharks needed this win and stop the Kings from their recent streak. That didn’t happen. Yet after the game, because the game was promoted as a joint event, fireworks went off. Not a good thing to see from the home crowd. Both teams saluted the fans but it just felt weird seeing that too.
There was one highlight and that was the image of cops arresting some fan for doing something wrong. He was escorted up the steps and people cheered.
Overall, the experience was nice but not comparable to when KISS performed last year. Will I attend another one down the line? Probably not. I have two under my belt now and I don’t know if there are any other teams I would want to watch anyway. Outdoor hockey still excites me and I am sure it was a treat to the fans. It just would have been nicer had the Sharks won. But instead, they continue on their downward spiral.