With ownership woes over the past two years, several items had to take a "back seat" while the team was in bankruptcy and looking for a new owner. Enter Tom Gaglardi, Dallas Stars
savior new owner. With Gaglardi, the team has seen some drastic changes in how they do business. They've restructured pricing (and if you're not taking advantage of $9 tickets on game days, you should seriously consider it. Or splurge a little and take advantage of $70 to sit in the lower bowl.) They've also started to do some new unique experiences for season ticket holders, like the Alumni game this year.
One of the things that has drastically increased with new ownership is the amount of Official Watch Parties being hosted by the Dallas Stars and their sponsors. The team had hosted about one watch party a month in prior seasons, or roughly 6 or so a season. This season alone, the Stars have already hosted 6 different watch parties, from the West End to Fort Worth. In the second half of the season, the team will host 8 more official watch parties, for a season total of 14!
So...you may be asking yourself why you need to go to one of these official watch parties. I'll break down five good reasons to attend one after the jump, along with letting you know which party Defending Big D will be making an appearance at. You'll also get an inside look at a few other social events of interest, so follow the jump.
Reason #1 to attend an official watch party: swag. At each watch party, the Dallas Stars give away signed pucks, autographed jerseys, and all sorts of other memorabilia to fans in attendance. They give items out pretty much through the entire game, and all you have to do is show up and enter your name into the fishbowl for drawing.
Reason #2: you never know who is going to show up. At the watch party on December 13th versus the New York Rangers, injured Stars winger Adam Burish came to the Frankie's in Uptown to watch the game. He kicked back, talked with fans, autographed items for fans, and gave a very uncensored interview to Jeff K about Richard Bachman's start at Madison Square Garden. With injuries cropping up, you never know who might be at the next watch party.
Reason #3: you can meet, take pictures with, and buy calendars of, the Dallas Stars Ice Girls. Now, this may not be a selling point for many of us female Stars fans, but the boys seem to like them. So if your husband/boyfriend/significant other needs persuading to drive to a watch party, this is a good bargaining point to have up your sleeve. Plus there is always beer. It kind of sells itself, no?
Reason #4: Jeff K, the voice of the Dallas Stars powerplay and in-game host, "officiates" all of the watch parties. This means that you can meet and hang out with the voice of the Dallas Stars. He's a pretty cool dude and friend of Defending Big D, so make sure you say hi to him the next time you're at a watch party.
Reason #5 (and the best reason of all, really): you are surrounded by "your people." The diehard Stars fans, who live and breathe this team, the ones you relate to so well and understand your love of such an awesome sport, are in the same place as you. There is nothing quite like being packed into a bar or restaurant with 50-100 of your closest friends when the Dallas Stars score a goal. The atmosphere is top notch.
Mark your calendars - Dallas Stars Official Watch Parties will be at the following locations and dates (for directions to any of the below, check out the Dallas Stars website and schedule of official watch parties here):
|1/16||6:30 PM CST||St. Louis Blues||Hard Rock Cafe - Dallas|
|1/21||8:00 PM CST||Minnesota Wild||TGIFriday's - East Plano|
|2/10||6:30 PM CST||Buffalo Sabres||TGIFriday's - West Plano|
|2/14||6:30 PM CST||Detroit Red Wings||Hooters - Addison|
|2/23||7:30 PM CST||Chicago Blackhawks||Sherlock's Pub - Dallas|
|3/2||8:30 PM CST||Edmonton Oilers||Hard Rock - Dallas|
|3/14||7:30 PM CST||Winnipeg Jets||Sherlock's Pub - Dallas|
|4/5||7:00 PM CST||Nashville Predators||The Omni Hotel - Owner's Box|
The Defending Big D crew will be attending the January 16th watch party at the Hard Rock Cafe (well, as many of us as can) so we hope to see you all out there for that watch party as well. We'll be sporting our Stars gear/Defending Big D shirts (which you can always view a selection of here!) Come out, say hi, introduce yourself. I've had the privilege of meeting a bunch of really awesome Defending Big D readers, and would love to meet more of you in person! We'll be hosting a Defending Big D watch party in February on Saturday February, 18 - we'll send out more details as that one gets closer, but make sure to mark it on your calendar.
And if your social calendar is not full enough for January, you can join the Dallas Stars players at the annual Casino Night on Wednesday, January 18th. This year's charity event will be held at the Park Place Mercedes-Benz in Grapevine. Put your fancy shoes on, find a table with a Dallas Stars player dealing blackjack, maybe even learn how to play roulette. It's a fun night for both the players and the fans, and the best part is that all of the money raised is for the Dallas Stars Foundtion which supports local youth programs in the Dallas community. Both Erin and I will be there so why don't you join us?