Fans swarm 'Dome in battle for tickets

KRISTEN ENEVOLD -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:09 PM ET

 It was a battle at the Saddle yesterday, as hungry hockey fans scampered to snap up tickets for tonight's game.

 And despite the odd tussle, born out of the first-come, first-serve system in place, the crowd of almost 500 people who camped and stood outside the 'Dome for hours was in good spirits, waiting for a chance to take in some playoff glory.

  "It's crazy loud out here, and the Flames' electricity is driving everyone in," said Calgarian Rob Henderson, who was near the front of the line, after taking up his post at 9 p.m. Thursday.

 Even former Flames players were getting in on the hype, fuelled by the promise of a series victory if the team wins tonight.

 "I feel 20 years younger,"said Jim Peplinski, who along with fan favourite Lanny McDonald, hoisted the Stanley Cup 15 years ago.

 "This crowd reminds me of when we got off the plane in Calgary after beating Edmonton in the second round in 1986," he said.

 More than 2,700 playoff tickets were sold yesterday, said Flames ticket manager Rollie Cyr.

 "For the ones that didn't get their tickets ... we took their names down and we'll see what we can do for them in the second round," he said.

 And as Cup-crazy fans flood into city streets after tonight's game, police and even Mayor Dave Bronconnier are urging fans to be sensible about their celebrations.

 "Take a cab, call a friend, don't drink and drive, and respect the laws that are here," Bronconnier said, proclaiming that today is officially "C of Red" day in Calgary.

 Police will have extra staff on hand, but that will be more for traffic control around the 'Dome and downtown than for any expectation of trouble, said Duty Insp. Ken Marchant.

 "I think we're going to have a lot of happy Flames fans out there (if they win), no question, but, over the years -- it doesn't matter what sport -- the Calgary fans have, for the most part, acted appropriately."

 - - -

 FLAMES FANS ARE STOKED!

 Flames fever is burning up the city!

 * Calgarians are hoping for some big numbers from the Flames on the scoreboard tonight, but there are even bigger statistics to be found within the Saddledome.

 * More than 3,000 parking stalls are available to playoff-hungry fans, both within the Stampede grounds and in Victoria Park.

 * There will be at least 1,200 staff -- from ushers, to concession workers and parking attendants, working tonight's big game.

 * A total of 320,512 light-emitting diodes light up the Saddledome's newly-installed power ring.


Videos

Photos