The Winter Classic has certainly become more than just another NHL regular season game.
This has turned into a spectacle.
Which means every family member and friend of the players involved wants to attend the game as well.
Certain things factor into the experience that the players have no control over like the weather, ice conditions, glare off the ice, etc. But one that isn't mentioned often but is of a concern for everyone involved is getting enough tickets for family and friends and trying to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Most people aren't aware of just how few tickets players are entitled to for every game.
For a regular season game, the visiting team gets 50 tickets. That can vary slightly because it's much easier in a non traditional hockey market where the home team may be struggling. Conversely, it's next to impossible to score some extras in some of the markets that are red hot.
That brings us back to the Winter Classic; the spectacle drives scores of fans to the stadium but also family members in large numbers, too.
This adds a new element of stress, who do I get tickets for, how many extras can I buy, where are they, etc.
I'm just so impressed with the focus shown by the players to recognize these games are still worth points in the standings because when gearing up for a contest with this hype it could be difficult to stay focused and not be looking around in the stands for the first 20 minutes of the game.
In this situation a simple text from a wife or a close family member might be just what the player needs before heading out for warm-up saying, "Hey, we're here, have a great game, see you after".
Players like to be comfortable and as relaxed as possible and knowing their family is settling in nicely can really lead to a better focus on the game (not on the spectacle) and on the two points.
I know the players love being a part of the Winter Classic and will have lasting memories from the day but the last thing they would want is a ticket mix up to ruin someone's experience.
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