Superfan turns basement into ultimate Flames party room with mini JumboTron
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Calgary Flames superfan Chris Payne has created a shrine that he calls the "House of Red" in his basement.
It's also a gathering place for family and friends to watch hockey.
"I wanted to create a place where I could have all my friends and watch the game with them," Payne told The Homestretch on Thursday. "Who could say no to come watch a game when you're surrounded by Flames gear and a massive TV with a JumboTron?"
For Payne, it's also the continuation of a childhood tradition that started when he was 10, with the Flames' 2004 run at the Stanley Cup.
"All of my parents' friends would bring all the kids together," he said. "There'd be 20 of us watching the game. And it was so much fun just seeing everyone, all of us in one room watching the games."
The basement walls are lined with jerseys, including a signed one from Jarome Iginla that was an anniversary gift from his wife.
"That one I have only worn to one game, and it was when Iginla scored his 1,000th point," he said. "I've been collecting them since the Flames Cup run in '04. That's when I got my very first jersey, when I was 10 years old."
The rec room has space for large groups, and is furnished with a leather sectional and a Flames pub-height table and chairs. There are two TV screens.
"One TV is for the game, and one TV is our mini JumboTron," Payne said. "The mini JumboTron has a goal horn synced to it with surround sound around the room, so we can actually play a goal horn. And it's connected to some smart lights so we have red and white lights that flash when they score."
Payne even has a closet full of extra Flames attire to help guests get into the spirit.
Payne's room has a fully stocked beer fridge, a popcorn machine and multiple Flames-themed glasses in every shape and size.
"So we have different sized glasses depending on what you're gonna be drinking during the game," he said. "Friends say when you look around, you don't expect it. But when you look at the smallest detail, there will always be a Flames logo."
He opens a large drawer full of supplies.
"There's Flames towels just in case we've got to clean up a mess," he said. "Flames cards if you're playing some games, Flames coasters, Flames bottle openers."
The room represents both a lifelong passion for his team and 15 years worth of collecting.
As for this year's playoffs — Game 1 is tonight against the Colorado Avalanche — Payne says he hopes to do some serious hosting in the room he calls "party central."
Listen to Chris Payne's full interview with on The Homestretch here:
- Do you have a Flames room, collection of jerseys or memorabilia? Send your photos in for a chance to win, and to have it shared with CBC Calgary readers. You can enter The Homestretch Calgary Flames Superfan Contest by tweeting a photo to CBCHomestretch or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win a jersey signed by Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk. Keep sending your photos until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 12. The winner will be announced at the end of The Homestretch on Friday.
With files from Ellis Choe