Rogers Place is great…..but can everyone afford it?

This week's Hammertime looks at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

I am sure that many of us watched in awe last week as Darryl Katz, Wayne Gretsky, Mayor Don Iverson, and the rest of the Oiler group toasted the Edmonton City Council, the contractors, and a room full of other officials, celebrities, philanthropists, and guests as they proudly cut the ribbon on their magnificent and much anticipated 600 million dollar hockey and entertainment centre located in the newest ‘financial heart’ of Edmonton. Rogers Place has already been touted as one the greatest sports and social centres in the world, which hopefully will be able to be enjoyed and experienced by our present and future generations of all ages and walks of life? Canada is and always will be the true home of the grand and traditional game of hockey, with parents taking their rambunctious boys and girls to the rink and staying to watch them play for countless decades of winters in communities big and small.

Unfortunately yours truly did not get in on one the 42,000 free tickets that were given out to tour this fabulous first class Arena Complex, but like countless others we will definitely be putting it on our bucket lists as a ‘must see’ while we can still look forward to getting out with friends and family. In checking out the average ticket prices, the regular season hockey games will start from $20.00 for the Oil Kings and $78.00 for the Oilers, and then climb very quickly depending on which of the 18,641 plush seats or 80 suites and mini-suites that you may choose, with the top of the line ‘night out’ being an $18,000.00 plush suite. Up to 20,734 tickets may be available for the concert and special events, where prices also range from $40.00 and far beyond, depending on location of seats and who or what the featured attraction may be. They are claiming that the best way to get to Rogers Place events is to park your vehicle in other areas around the city, then make connections on their fancy new L.R.T., which will drop you off close to the door then will bring you back to your car after you have enjoyed your fling at the rink. There are some parking lots closer to Rogers but apparently they are rumoured to charge upwards of $18.00 an hour, and could take a long time to get in or out of.

Here are just a few tid-bits of information about Rogers Place. It took over 10,000 pieces of steel and a whole lot of cranes to put it all together; up in the viewing area there is a casual ‘drink rail’ just like they have in the home of the Blue Jays; a second skating rink attached to the complex will be used for public skating, games, and other events; and there are no less than 1200 television screens throughout the building for everyone to catch a piece of the action from all angles. There are all sorts of restaurants and food courts around Rogers, featuring a menu of 80 wild, unique, or just plain old western food and drink items from around the globe to tease and satisfy every hunger pangs of young and old. Apparently the Oiler’s luxury state of the art dressing room has been ‘built to win’, with the very best equipment, fitness, and medical equipment available to the players, as well as a two story fireplace in the training room.

Whatever the case, I will be looking for senior discounts and saving my pension allowance with hope that yours truly and everyone else may get the great opportunity of taking in a game or entertainment event at Rogers Place, which was hopefully built for the progress and pleasure of Edmonton, Albertans, Canadians, and the entire world. Have a great and glorious sunny week, all of you.


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