During this time of year, gap filled smiles, grimaces of pain and intense clenched jaws abound on the Ice. Of course, you have to be in a hockey arena to witness this. If you relish rough play, fast paced action and an outstanding display of athletic ability, you might enjoy hockey at the Resch Center.
I can’t say I’ve always been a hockey fan. I remember, when I stayed up late during my childhood, watching WPNE’s broadcast of taped University of Wisconsin games. I watched them intently, but I really didn’t understand many of the rules. Gradually, as I was exposed to more hockey games with the advent of cable and streaming, I learned to understand and appreciate the game.
I’m from Green Bay and am a fan of the Packers. I’ll also tune to a Brewers game any chance I get. I suppose I’m a Bucks fan also. However, even if there has never been an NHL team from Wisconsin, I do love hockey as much as any other of the three aforementioned team sports.
The Resch center is a pretty cool venue too, playing home to the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL(a junior hockey league with players as young as sixteen). Concessions and Restrooms are well within reach, not to mention other friendly facets that make it a splendid facility for an event.
It’s a cold, windy Sunday afternoon in mid February. A friend and I are off to see a matinee game between the Green Bay Gamblers and the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders. The Gamblers are near the cellar of their division, yet it promises to be a spirited affair. The parking, for said event, is available directly across from the Resch center and in the Lambeau Field parking lot. It costs a meager six dollars.
When we step inside the modern venue, known as the Resch Center, warmth greets us. We head towards one of two gates and I brandish my phone towards the ticket collector. She scans the barcode for both tickets.
Its a pretty simple thing. I Simply purchase my tickets online and choose them to be electronically delivered. Their is no delivery charge and I’m in no danger of misplacing or forgetting my tickets. Of course, I could forget my cell phone, but typically its something that is always on my person.
We bound through the gate and ascend the staircase towards our section. As I head towards our seats, I have to mention that there are furnished luxury suites, seating 16 to 32 people, available for rent or purchase at this arena. If you own a suite, complimentary tickets to some Gamblers and UWGB men’s basketball games are included with the purchase, not to mention catering and parking. I don’t possess enough money for that. So, we’ll take our seats up near the glass.
We find our seats just before the puck is dropped. The game does not start off well. Cedar Rapids scores an early goal and soon take a two nothing lead. However, there is nothing amongst the fans that make this a horrible experience, you know, things like screaming toddlers.
If there had been a screaming child that just couldn’t handle the stimulus of such an event, there is a sensory safe zone. With this, the parent does not have to leave the venue with their upset child. It is equipped with soothing activities, noise canceling headphones and TVs to watch the game while the child settles down.
The first period ends and, as we’re not in the club seats, we go to the concession stand and pick up a bite to eat. I have a brat and Jason devours a hamburger. They’re a bit pricy, but its food at a sporting event- it’s never cheap. I’m told there is also a new place called the Back Stage Bar. There, we could have grabbed a craft beer, being fifteen to choose from.
As we munch on our food, we discuss the game and the experience. This is Jason’s first Gamblers game and he’s pretty impressed. However, he also mentions the Blizzard, the Indoor Football League team. It’s another fun, action packed sporting event in which the Resch Center plays host.
We settle in for the rest of the game. Green Bay comes back from the 2-0 deficit and ties the match. During the last 7-8 minutes of the third period, there is a spree of scoring opportunities for the Gamblers. Yet, nothing gets past Cedar Rapids’ goalie.
The game goes to a five minute sudden death overtime and finally a shootout. After all is said and done, the Rough Riders take the game from the Gamblers. I’m not really too disappointed. There was a lot of hard hitting, great shots on goal, spectacular saves and even a couple of tussles. All and all, It was a pretty solid performance by both clubs.
We leave the Resch center. I failed to mention that the Resch Center is part of the Resch Center Complex. This includes the Resch Center, Shopko Hall and the Brown County Arena. The latter is slated to be replaced according to local TV news stations. The complex stands across Oneida Street from Lambeau Field.
I always enjoy live hockey and the vantages from the arena are decent. You can choose to be behind the Goal, be up by the glass, be at center Ice or anything in between. The ticket range is 10-27 dollars. Really not too expensive. If you don’t like hockey, choose indoor football or college basketball.