When I added ‘Go to a Fayetteville Marksmen hockey game’ to our Fort Bragg and North Carolina Bucket List, I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
Growing up in Florida, hockey isn’t really a sport that I had access to. Ice skating in the Sunshine State is almost unheard of. Thus, me nor my family had ever been to a hockey game. That was until we visited Fayetteville’s Crown Coliseum to watch the Marksmen show out on their home turf.
Here are some things we learned at our first ever hockey game!
Hockey Fans are Intense!
According to the ever-trusty internet, all hockey fans are loud and the Marksmen fans were no exception. They screamed, shouted, boo-d, chanted, and beat their bam-bam sticks until our seats were vibrating!
I was worried that my youngest would be scared by all the noise, but she was so distracted by everything going on around her that she didn’t seem bothered at all.
The Game was SOOO Fan-Interactive
We danced, sang, chanted, and cheered all in the hopes of being featured for a few moments on the Jumbotron. They played (family-friendly) music of all kinds, including ‘Baby Shark’, which my kids loved.
Each time the music played cameras would feature the fans with the best moves on the jumbotron. And you better believe my girls tried their best every chance they got! Then waved like crazy when they saw their own smiling faces on the big screen!
In addition to all of the fun and dancing, nearly Fayetteville Marksmen game has a theme. The night we went was ‘Fan Appreciation Night’, so tickets were $9 and beer was $2. But they also had themes such as Haunted Hockey, Military Appreciation, Wizadry Night, Star Wars Night, and 90s Night – just to name a few.
For these fun nights, the fans were invited to dress up according to the theme and special activities took place throughout the game.
You Can Skate with the Players After the Game!
After the final buzzer, you can pay $5 to rent ice skates and skate with the players! This was the girls’ favorite part of the whole night!
Even though my kids have never ice skated before in their life, my oldest figured it out pretty quick. She took off skating with other kids and left her little sister clinging to the wall.
The Marksmen’s player #20, Taylor McCloy, saw her struggling and not only helped her skate several laps around the rink, but taught her enough that she was able to skate on her own before we left. When she was done, she told me all about her ‘new friend’, Taylor, and it’s safe to say that she’s smitten.
I can’t tell you enough about how impressed I was by this act of kindness. And it wasn’t just limited to him and my daughter. All of the players were interacting with kids and other fans. They signed autographs, smiled for pictures, and were genuinely happy to do so.
The Marksmen Hockey team is a true gem in Fayetteville. This might have been our first hockey game, but it won’t be our last!