Best words ever: ‘Can I show you to your seats?’

They waited 15 years for this milestone


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IT is possible that four grown men have never been so excited to see the inside of a hockey arena in July.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/07/2011 (4255 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

IT is possible that four grown men have never been so excited to see the inside of a hockey arena in July.

Tuesday was the day for which my friend Darryl Rempel and I had been waiting 15 years. Along with his buddies Derek Kroeker and Kevin Brandt, we arrived at the MTS Centre for our appointment to choose our Jets seats for the upcoming NHL hockey season.

We were met by one of the busy sales executives with the Moose, er, Jets, who escorted us to our seats — Section 308, Row 9, Seats 17-20.

Our P6 seats are perfect — on an angle in the corner in the Jets’ attack zone for the first and third periods and across the ice from the team benches.

I owe being able to get into the building to Darryl, with whom I coached our 10-year-old sons’ AA baseball team this spring. During the pre-sale insanity after True North announced the purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers on May 31, I asked him about his strategy for buying tickets.

“I’m in!” he told me. “I’m a mini-pack holder. My buddy Derek and I are going to buy a half-season.”

Guessing that the chances of landing any tickets during the general sale would be less than getting hit by lightning and winning the lottery on the same day, I asked why he didn’t buy a FULL season and let me buy the other half.

Knowing that I, like him, had grown up watching the Jets in the WHA and the NHL and how much it would mean to me, he said, “sure.” (For the record, I went to a number of Moose games each season, but never bought a mini-pack or season tickets.)

Darryl and Derek briefly waffled whether to keep their mini-pack during the 2010-11 season but they were convinced by the season-ticket holders who sat behind them — who said True North would reward fans who had supported the team.

“We hoped Moose fans would get priority (for season tickets),” Darryl said.

True North picked out every season-ticket holder’s seats in advance, based on their financial commitment and support over the years so we didn’t actually get to choose our seats.

The rationale was that otherwise, people who booked the first appointments would get the best seats.

There are some rules, we were told. For example, people in the upper bowl aren’t allowed to go to concession stands in the lower bowl because technically, that could mean 15,000 people could be in the lower bowl, and that would violate fire codes.

Not to worry, we were assured, because everything that’s for sale in the lower-bowl concession area, including Tim Hortons coffee and Jets jerseys, T-shirts and hats, would be available where we are.

The Jets sales executives have been showing giddy groups of fans to their seats since last month and they will continue to do so for the next couple of weeks until every one of the 13,000 season-ticket holders has been to the building.

“They’ve got the best job in the world right now,” Kevin said as we prepared to go our separate ways. “They’re like Santa Claus.”

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