Sunday, January 1, 2017.
It was a chilly, sunny Sunday morning with some flurries. My girlfriend and I had just woken up from celebrating New Year’s Eve at my friend’s cottage on the lake. It’s probably around 10 or 11 in the morning, and we were rushing to head home. This is because the night before at my girlfriend’s parents’ house, we got a free pair of tickets to the Centennial Classic outdoor hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs at BMO Field in Toronto. Being a huge Leafs fan, I was pumped. The game was at 3, so we had no time to waste.
We drove to Brampton, so I could grab all of my Leafs’ gear – a toque, jerseys, and winter clothing. We also decided to book a hotel. We drove to downtown Toronto and arrived at our hotel at around 2:45 p.m. We were cutting it so close. Luckily, I got a notification on my phone saying that because of the sun, the game was going to be delayed about 30 minutes. We called an Uber, and headed down to the outdoor stadium.
The streets, the parking lot, and the stadium were buzzing. Lots of red gear in support of the Red Wings. BUT, there was so much blue. SO MUCH BLUE. I can’t even describe it. Over 35,000 fans, and I would say at least 30,000 were wearing blue. It was so cool. We got to the box office to pick up our tickets. When I looked at the face value of the tickets, my jaw dropped. I could not believe the price they were selling for…$350 a ticket! We were in the upper bowl – 10 rows from the roof. I didn’t even care. I just couldn’t believe I was actually there. Pre-game they had a ceremony honouring some of the top 100 players to ever play in the NHL. So many legends. After the ceremony ended, it was time for puck drop.