Not sure if you all have heard, but everything about Canes opening night was a rousing success. We look forward to the action inside the arena for sure, but let’s be honest, we’re ALL IN for that opening night tailgate. After months of hype and prep, Saturday came, brought a mixed bag of weather, and left us with great memories. Consider this post our thanks to everyone who helped make it awesome and your invitation to join our future tailgates.

Our crew started setting up tents and chairs in the east lot before noon. Yes, the game was at 7:00, why do you ask? By 12:15, we had 25 people cracking cans in the grass. Our hockey family and new friends alike trickled in until the tailgate got its “official” start at 3:00. That’s when Donato’s Pizza showed up with 15 large pizzas to feed the masses.

Photo credit for this and others: Tara Edwards

As luck would have it, while the pizza was being promptly demolished, the skies opened up for about 15-20 minutes. Thankfully, our shanty town of tents and the good local arbor kept us mostly dry. This rain also brought the benefit of knocking down the dust and since the ground was bone dry before hand, soaked up all the rain in less time than James Wisniewski played for the Canes.

By 4:30, our kiddie pool of ice was filled with delicious local beer thanks to the good folks at New Belgium, Trophy Brewing, and Sportschannel8. Please ignore the Bud Light in there. You can rest assured I did.

As is tradition, Mike and I won the cornhole tournament, but I’m not here to brag about that (it’ll surely happen on the podcast). If you want in on the next one, grab a partner, get a team name, and test your hand.

When the clock struck 6:00, it was time to circle up for the traditional Jager pass. This year, making a circle large enough to accommodate nearly 100 people proved to be a challenge. Saluting those Canes who have given good years to the team and those still playing for Lord Stanley’s Cup, our gathering went through two fifths of sweet, delicious Jager in no time. Rumor has it some folks didn’t get any Jager; a problem we’ll surely address at future tailgates. With that, the 2017 Season Opening Tailgate was in the books and on to see the boys in red bring two points home.

Thanks to everyone who came out, whether it was friends close enough that I consider family, folks who we see a few times a year, or those we just met on Saturday. It’s the people that make these days special, and Saturday was damn sure memorable.

The whole Section 328 staff. Like the merch? #BuyTheMerch