“Wow! I had no idea how much was going on at a Chicago Wolves game!” is something that Mike Gordon, president of Business Operations of the Chicago Wolves, hears often. He shared what families often find most surprising and what they can expect at a Chicago Wolves hockey game.
See award-winning indoor fireworks
There are fireworks at every game, and that’s not a metaphor for the on-ice play. That’s explosive, but so are the real fireworks that happen at each game in conjunction with an impressive laser show. The company that produces the show for the Wolves also does halftime at the Super Bowl, so you know they’re good. The show gives new meaning to fire and ice.
Watch several former national team players
With the Olympics on the horizon, there’s lots of talk about national hockey teams. Unable to make it to Korea this February? Head to Rosemont instead. The Wolves have 11 players on their roster who played for their national team and who together have earned nine medals. They have represented Canada, USA, Russia, Czech and Sweden.
Watching the Wolves play is an opportunity to see talent from around the world. That collection of talent may explain why the Wolves have had a winning record for 23 of the 24 years they have been in the American Hockey League. “You know that you’re seeing a quality product,” says Gordon, noting the large number of players who have played in the National Hockey League.
Get access to the athletes
Not only can kids watch the players in action, they have a chance to interact with them after the game. Family Sunday games includes an autograph session after the game. Even if it’s not a Sunday, “the players walk through fans on the way out every single night. They stop and sign autographs, win or lose,” Gordon says.
He says the team prides itself on having players who are extremely accessible and it’s a great touchpoint for kids to get to meet them up close. “These guys know that giving back to the community is part of their role with the Wolves and happy to do so,” Gordon says.
Join in the mascot love (and take pictures with Skates)
It’s not a surprise that the Wolves have a wolf named Skates as their mascot. What is a surprise is how very kind he is — and that he dances so well to Cotton-Eyed Joe. He stays in the concourse after the game interacting with fans until the very last one heads home.
“There is no question that you can visit with Skates,” Gordon says. “Everyone loves Skates.”
Eat up Chicago’s favorite foods
The Wolves’ tagline is “Hungry for more.” If that also applies to your family, the food options at Wolves’ games are an opportunity to enjoy all of Chicago’s favorite foods. Chicago-style hot dogs are popular, as is the pizza, Gordon says. Other popular options include the Maxwell Street Polish, nachos, pretzels and popcorn. The cold-weather inspired Arctic Freeze is also a taste treat kids love.
Engage in concourse conviviality
Concourses are more than ways to get to and from your seat at Wolves games. “Always expect that there will be interactive games and interactive booths for kids to play. Fans will be entertained not just inside the stadium but all around the concourse,” Gordon says.
From tests of skill to face painting to sign making, family entertainment abounds.
Take advantage of great seats
Seeing great hockey is really fun, and it’s possible to really see the action at Wolves games, without having to bob and weave and strain and lean. “Every seat is a good seat,” Gordon says, explaining that the building was constructed without suite levels, putting every seat closer to the ice.
Hit the ice!
For many kids, watching sports makes them want to play the sport. Open skate sessions happen multiple times a year, giving kids a chance to hit the ice. Not everyone can say they’ve skated in Allstate Arena.
Enjoy family fun without going broke
Heading out of the house with everyone in tow can get expensive – fast. With tickets starting at $11 and Family Sunday deals, Wolves games can be both fun and budget-friendly, which makes it easier for parents to have fun. “We have made a commitment to provide affordable sports to Chicago and introduce more families to hockey,” Gordon says.