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Why I love my city: Grand Rapids Griffins games

This post is part of an ongoing series about why I love living in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

One. Two. Three. Triple deke.

Oh, wait. This post isn’t about my childhood love for “The Mighty Ducks.”

No, it’s about how I spent the day of love — Valentine’s Day that is — watching five red-and-white jersey-clad men skate, slam, check, pass, fight, stick, shoot and score. Yep, I spent Feb. 14 at a Grand Rapids Griffins game.

Located downtown in the heart of Grand Rapids’ dining and entertainment district, Van Andel Arena anchors a neighborhood of craft-beer brewpubs, bars hosting happy hours and action-packed sports bars. It’s the perfect locale to grab brews with a pal before the puck drops.

Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena

Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena

On Fridays, you can continue drinking beer for only $2 per beverage. And, hot dogs are only $2, too. But, get your drink and dog quickly. The offer expires at 8 p.m. or when the supply runs out.

Back to the hockey. At Griffins games, you’ll see players headed toward ice time at “the Joe” (Joe Louis Arena in Detroit for you non-Michiganders) — or that new arena where the Red Wings may move as early as the 2016-2017 season. But, you’ll see these rising stars at a fraction of the cost of Red Wings game tickets. My ticket was a mere $14 before taxes and fees.

Ticket-buying tip: Purchasing online is fairly hassle free. I could have printed my tickets at home, but since my printer was out of ink, I opted to use the Flash Seats app. You just pull up the barcode for the tickets on the app, it is scanned as you enter the arena — just like using an e-ticket at the airport — and then a paper ticket is printed out. This is a great option if you don’t want to wait in a line at will call and still like to have paper tickets for keepsakes or scrapbooking (that’s still a thing, I’ve checked). Plus, in the case that you can’t make it to the game, you can transfer your tickets to a friend through Flash Seats.

The only downside to purchasing tickets online was the processing fee, which caused my ticket’s price to jump from $14 to about $19. Still not bad, but I later discovered you can purchase tickets by calling the Griffins front office to avoid that fee. The number to call is 616-774-4585.

In addition to event parking in the arena lots behind the venue, the city has public parking garages within walking distance of the arena and the surrounding eateries. The city garages take cash or major credit cards. One of the closest garages is the Ottawa-Fulton Ramp. Click here for a map of Grand Rapids’ downtown parking.

Wish you were here,


The Grand Rapids Griffins take on the San Antonio Rampage on Feb. 14, 2014, at Van Andel Arena.

The Grand Rapids Griffins take on the San Antonio Rampage on Feb. 14, 2014, at Van Andel Arena.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. That is an inexpensive night out to see a sporting event and probably well worth the money as those young players play their best most nights in hope of being called up to the Toledo Walleyes and Detroit Red Wings. I noted a lot of young adults and families with kids heading to the games when visiting downtown Grand Rapids recently. Good tips on ticket buying and pre-game food.

    March 8, 2014
    • I think the Griffins are considered the AAA-affiliate of the Red Wings to put it into baseball terms. Regardless, it is definitely an inexpensive night out, especially on Fridays for the $2 beer and hot dogs promotion.

      March 8, 2014

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