Longtime Raptors fan from P.E.I. reflects on Game 2 experience
'The atmosphere was ridiculous in there'
Islanders may have stayed up Sunday night to watch the Toronto Raptors take on the Golden State Warriors — Brett Poirier was one of those Islanders, except his seats were better.
The Charlottetown real estate broker has been a fan since Grade 4 when he saw his first Raptors game, so it's no surprise Poirier did everything he could to be at Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Toronto.
"It was an incredible experience," Poirier told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier.
No stranger to the game
Poirier is no stranger to basketball — he was a play-by-play broadcaster for the Island Storm for two seasons, then he was the team's director of marketing and worked his way up to become the organization's vice president.
He's been to Raptors games before but said this time, the atmosphere was different — celebrities in the audience included former U.S. president Barack Obama.
I was just in awe of everything.— Brett Poirier
Poirier took a risk purchasing his ticket before the game was officially confirmed, he said.
"I got my ticket through a former season ticket holder, I guess, who had first dibs at tickets."
Poirier said he felt lucky to get a ticket for about $1,000.
"I told myself I would never spend money like that on a single-game event, and here you are in the finals. And I paid that for a 300-section ticket, which is kind of crazy when you think about it."
'Atmosphere was ridiculous'
Poirier said he doesn't feel like he overpaid since some people around him forked over $1,500 for a seat at Scotiabank Arena in the lower level of the upper bowl.
"The atmosphere was ridiculous in there," he said enthusiastically.
Poirier got to downtown Toronto at 2 p.m. Sunday and said there were thousands of Raptor fans having tailgate parties, while fans lined up for kilometres.
"The vibe was great — lots walking around with jerseys and hats all that stuff.
"I was just in awe of everything."
Unfortunately for Poirier and other Raptors fans, the team came up short against the Warriors, losing 109 to 104.
"The first half was amazing, there was so much intensity on the Raptors part," Poirier said.
"That third-quarter run by the Warriors just kind of knocked us out."
Poirier said he hopes the team can come back with a win in Game 3, but said he believes just having a Canadian team in the finals does a lot for the sport.
"It has brought so much awareness and attention to the game and it is good for everyone."
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With files from Island Morning