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Come with me to Florida Panthers vs Arizona Coyotes

Is NHL actually a real sport?!

On the third day of the Miami Summit we went to the Amerant Bank Arena, home to the Florida Panthers. The arena is situated in Sunrise, Florida.

The visit began with a tour of the arena. Outside of the arena it was lovely and warm … but as soon as we entered the ice hockey rink area, the drop in temperature became apparent! The arena was HUGE but surprisingly only had has a capacity of 20,000.

We started the tour in the Amerant Vault which was a huge room where VIP’s go, they have access to free food and drink along with comfortable seats overlooking the rink. The room has lots of TV’s so the guide did say some people actually don’t go outside to watch the game… can’t really blame them it was much warmer inside!

We then went through the concourse (which was full of bars) down to rink side via the biggest lift I’ve seen in my life! Something I found in America was that they had a person sitting in every lift their job is to push the buttons, now that is a job I could do!

The press room was the next thing we saw, it was so high! I couldn’t see the rink over the wall so couldn’t be a journalist there , to be fair I don’t see how anyone would comfortably see the action from so high up. Something unique about Ice Hockey is that the managers don’t sit rink side, they instead sit up where the media are and relay messages down through the coaches. Along the same corridor was the radio rooms as well as the box where the arena announcer sits.

The final thing we saw on the tour was the control room where the visuals shown on screens around the arena are controlled. There was around 200 buttons all having different functions!

After a break filled with some guest speakers we went to my first NHL game, Florida Panthers vs Arizona Coyotes! Outside the arena there was so much entertainment for all ages, including a large panther head with a beautiful sunset behind it! There was a separate entrance for me that allowed me to take my machine bags in and be searched through a x-ray machine, security is so much tighter in the US compared to England.

Once we got in the arena food was the first stop. My nan and cousin were big fans of the food on offer even saying it was some of the best they’ve had all holiday! Our seats were located on the middle section and had a great side view of the rink.

Now, this is the point I normally write about the game but being 100% honest I had no clue what was happening! Before the game I was warned there are normally fights in the game… but two in seven seconds was not what I expected! I was honestly gobsmacked to see fights before the puck had even been touched, I think there may have been some animosity between the teams but I was just amazed how they were allowed to have full on fist fights.

The tempo and energy of the whole game was so high and despite not understanding the rules the atmosphere was impossible to not enjoy, every time the puck went out of play music blasted out the speakers and it was very entertaining. With that being said I really didn’t like the violence … I can’t imagine how their parents feel watching on! The Panthers won 6-2 and every time they scored we each got a high five from an avid fan which was cute!

After the game we got a unique opportunity of going onto the ice rink for some photos which was so cool. Before finding out we were walking on a carpet I was terrified I was just going to slide into the wall after watching the players flying around, but it all ended up being fine lol.

Come back tomorrow to read about our trip to watch Miami Heat.

Thank you for reading.

Ellie Xx


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