It’s no secret. Kingstonist has poked fun at the LVEC, Krock, KRC etc… in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. Last weekend I was given free tickets to go see the Kingston Frontenacs play the Ottawa 67’s, thanks to my involvement in the local United Way campaign, which raised over $2.8 million. I am a big hockey fan, just not a fan of the Fronts. That said, I wasn’t going to turn down free tickets to check out my first official event at the Krock, and spend some time with friends. What I discovered inside the hallowed, tax-payer funded walls, may shock you.
You may recall that my first time inside the K-Rock Centre was just before the grand opening concert featuring the Tragically Hip, which went down last Winter. Safe to say that we did not have tickets, nor were we challenged while we freely walked throughout the venue prior to first big show, taking video, chatting with workers, and trying to look like we belonged. With the exorbitant and crippling service charges, I wasn’t keen to return anytime soon, unless the price and event was right. A lot has changed since my first visit, and I must say that the facility looks great.
But shouldn’t it? I mean it’s a huge pit we’ve all thrown money into, so the least they could do was finish painting the walls, slap cost-recovering advertising all over every surface, etc… As I’ve heard from others, there honestly isn’t a bad seat in the house. We found ourselves in the Fronts’ end, where most the action was concentrated. By that I mean Ottawa dominated Kingston in the first period, and it was a miracle that the game only ended in a 4-3 loss for Doug Gilmour’s boys. In my opinion, unless he’s going to strap on the skates, there’s little hope for the team in this rebuilding year.
Back to the Krock. I discovered the sophistication of club seating, which is a huge section behind the players’ benches that offers exclusive access to club ticket holders, wider padded seating, private concessions, and washrooms. Then there is the box seating, with loads of leg room, even comfier seating, LED televisions, and what looked to be a good spread of food and booze. But again, I can’t complain about the seats we had, and I doubt there were many in attendance who had trouble seeing the action. In comparison, the LVEC is a huge step up from the M-Centre, as it truly shows off Kingston in a positive light.
Throughout the game there were mascot-driven give-aways, amazing instant replay from Cogeco, popcorn that smelled as though it was harvested from a buttery field, beer by the tallboy (cans, not plastic cups), and extremely courteous and helpful staff members. Although I doubt I’ll be lining up to pay to see a hockey game any time soon, you can bet that I’ll be lurking around the area, trying to find the promoters who are giving away free tickets before the game. Save for my taxes going up this year, surprisingly, I don’t have a bad thing to say about the finished interior. Sure it could be bigger, and I would love to see vendors walking the crowds with snacks and such, but those things would undoubtedly cause our taxes to rise even more. Now if we can only get some good bands from this century in there, I’ll be very happy. Check out the new Flickr set for more from the game.