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Up until 2016, if you asked anyone in the province of Saskatchewan what their favourite sports franchise was, you were going to get one answer: The CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. But that has all changed with the arrival of Saskatchewan’s National Lacrosse League team, The Rush.
The Rush are the 2015/16 NLL Champion lacrosse team playing in Saskatoon at the SaskTel Centre. Prior to the team’s arrival, the stadium underwent major renovations and improvements, doubling the seating capacity to close to 16,000 people. Even with the increased seating capacity, every game tends to be a sell-out. And stepping back, it makes sense: The actual in-arena atmosphere is second to none. As far as spectator sports go, lacrosse brings it all. Speed, power, finesse, and some pretty intense aggression. And unlike many other professional sports matches, the music doesn’t stop when the game begins. Watch one game yourself and you’ll understand why Saskatchewan Rush fans go completely buck for the game.
We connected with President of the Saskatchewan Rush, Lee Genier, to get some tips and tricks for first-timers intending to go to a game.
“We encourage people to come out early to avoid traffic snarl and we feel that we give them a reason to come early. We have a cheer team. There are bands playing. When it’s warmer there is tailgating. The entertainment doesn’t just start with the game.”
“There are a lot of people who dress up in costume. People dress up as all kinds of things; The Hulk, Darth Vadar, Randy Savage.”
“If people aren’t wearing costumes they’re definitely wearing jerseys and hats. We sold more merch last year than the entire league. This year we’ve sold even more. It’s a good look at a game.”
“She’s a super fan, really amazing person, and at every single game. If you have the chance to meet Grandma Rush, ask her about the team and the experience.”
“If an in-arena photo isn’t your thing, within the concourse of the SaskTel centre, there is a statute of a hulk and another of a giant bear in the arena, both are wearing Rush jerseys.”
Where: You’ll likely need a car for the roughly 15-minute drive to the stadium. Alternatively, from downtown Saskatoon, you can take the transit line 333, straight to the game.
What: Saskatchewan Rush National Lacrosse Game
When: Full 2017 schedule available here.
Ticket Price: The tickets range from $30-$60. You can purchase your tickets here.
Concession Prices: If you are looking for nachos ($5.25), cheeseburgers or poutine ($6.00), bottled beer and highballs ($6.25) the concessions have you covered. Lines tend to be long and food does sell out, so get your food early.