Hi, it’s Heather from Skate Helper. In January 2020, I had the pleasure of visiting the Fifth Third Arena in Chicago to see the First Stride program in action.
We shot a video testimonial at the rink on January 9th. After the shoot, Annie and Andrea who work for the Blackhawks gave us a tour of the Fifth Third Arena where the Blackhawks practice.
What an amazing facility. We saw the player dressing room with everything laid out for them. We saw their dryland training area. The equipment room where everything is stocked. The repair area where skates and other equipment can be repaired.
The players are really well taken care of. There is a chef’s kitchen where high-end nutritious meals are prepared. A video lounge where players can hang out and relax. It felt like a home away from home. Every detail had been thought of to make the players feel comfortable. It really is an inviting space and really well designed.
Afterwards, Annie invited us over to the United Center to check out the sports shop and have lunch. She also gave us tickets for the game that night.
Chicago loves their Blackhawks and they are the best sports fans I’ve ever seen. The energy in the building was electric and it was just a regular season game. It was very memorable too because it was the game that the goalie Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators scored a goal.
We decided to stay for the weekend and explore Chicago. We ate at some really good restaurants. Everything we ate in Chicago tasted great. The shopping on Michigan Avenue was excellent and on Saturday night we visited Second City.
Chicago is such a wonderful city and I would recommend a visit for sure. Aside from the iconic sports teams that the city has it offers amazing restaurants and lovely architecture. Chicago is a really good walking city and has wonderful and diverse neighbourhoods to explore.
Now it’s more than a year into the pandemic and that was the last time I was in a crowded arena. My trip to Chicago was a trip of a lifetime that I will never forget.
I want to thank Annie Camins and Andrea Hahn for making my Chicago trip a reality these are two women in leadership positions with the Chicago Blackhawks.