COLORADO SPRINGS — What was supposed to be a memorable night for the National Hockey League will be remembered for all the wrong reasons by the thousands of fans who showed up to watch the Colorado Avalanche take on the Los Angeles Kings at Falcon Stadium on the campus of the Air Force Academy.
Fans like Brian Nielsen say the setup was incredible, and were wowed by the show and flyover ahead of the puck drop, but the amenities left a bad taste.
“10,000 cars parking on a sheet of ice,” Nielsen said. “And then we went inside and we were walking on mud, it was almost like Woodstock.”
I-25 going into Colorado Springs was so backed up, some fans decided to get out and walk or hitch hike just to get closer to the stadium. By the time some fans entered, they had missed a third of the game, and missed even more time if they were hungry or thirsty.
“Spent the whole second period, waiting in line for a hot dog,” said Gary Kruck. “The bathroom lines were crazy.”
In a joint statement, the Air Force Academy and the NHL said they warned fans about traffic ahead of time, and opened the stadium early.
They went on to say they “regret the, unfortunately, circumstances experienced by some fans.”