Over the weekend, my family of Caps STH in section 407 drove up to Hershey, PA., to watch the Bears take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Giant Center, located in the heart of Hershey Park. I won’t talk about the 5-0 loss the Bears had, but turn the tables to the experience we had which was much more positive.
For those that have never been to a Bears game, it is definitely worth making the 2.5 hour drive up from the DC Metro area. I may not have taken the quickest route, but I did take a beautiful drive up US-15 N for 90% of the trip. I stayed in the Hilton Garden Inn which we found out that the Tigers were also guests of the Hotel. They were checking out as we were checking in.
We ate dinner at Houlihan’s about 2 miles from Giant Center. The food was excellent and well worth the price. The staff was super friendly, but I think that is part of the atmosphere of Hershey itself. I can’t remember the last time everyone was friendly and greeted me with a hello. Even while standing in line waiting to get inside of Giant Center, people were talking to us. Probably because I was wearing an away Holtby Caps jersey.
Getting into Giant Center is a little confusing, as I didn’t notice any major signs pointing us towards the arena. You enter the park after paying $9 for parking, drive what seems like 3/4ths of a circle around the park/stadium, and then turn into the parking lot. What made it confusing to me was I didn’t have a sense of where I was going, but that could be me just being foreign to the arena.
Once inside Giant Center, I was surprised on how clean and organized the layout was. Being an AHL arena my expectations were not very high. The food looked pretty decent, though I didn’t buy any. The mens room was smaller than the phone booth, but seemed to be much cleaner and more stocked with paper towels. We sat in section 124 which is to the side of the goal where we attack twice and about 6 rows up. It definitely seemed like the rink was smaller, and the stairs going down the 100 section was steeper. Almost like the 400 section in Verizon Center.
Overall, the trip to Hershey was a great experience. I look forward to going back to another Bears game in the near future.
By Robert Kruck