Sippin’ brews in the club

Being a sports freak and having lived in Oregon my whole life, I have attended a lot of Blazer’s games. From the days of Clyde “The Glide” Drexler and Terry Porter to the “Jail Blazers” era and on to today’s team, Blazers games have always been one of my favorite ways of spending my time.

Since I can remember, these games have been great fun, but they have also been expensive. It seems that—as with everything—the older I get, the more expensive Blazers games become.

I remember going to games with my family as a child and my parents only allowing me to get a hot dog and a soda. If they were feeling extra generous I could also get some candy or ice cream. I didn’t know how much it cost, but I knew that a request for anything else would always get denied.

That all changed during our first game in the club-level seats with access to the all-you-can-eat buffet. It was like heaven for a child. Food, drinks, candy and desserts all for free! Needless to say, I ended up getting carsick on the way home, but it was well worth it.

After turning 18 I moved to Seattle for about three years and didn’t attend a Blazers game until I was over 21. I made sure to get club-level seats for my return game, with full access to the buffet. After my pre-tipoff meal, I headed straight to the beer station to get my first-ever free beer, only to find that I had to pay almost $10 for it.

I was devastated. I thought my all-you-can-eat-and-drink access included beer. It didn’t.

That all changed this year. A friend of mine who is a season ticket holder called and asked if I wanted to use his club-level seats to attend a game. Never one to pass up free Blazers tickets, I took him up on his offer.

I had heard rumblings about a newly remodeled club level, but hadn’t paid much attention to it. I was eager to find out what my cherished club seats had to offer now.

Upon arriving, I noticed that there were no more long lines at the buffets and that there were food-cart-style restaurants all over with stadium-priced menus. I decided to call my friend and ask him what happened.

He explained that with the renovation, they changed the club level food policy. Rather than the all-you-can-eat buffet-style food options, each club-level ticket had $30 in credit that could be spent on anything in the arena—even beer and merchandise.

I was elated! I could finally get that free beer I was once denied. The first thing I did was order some food from one of the food-cart-style restaurants. After a mistake with my order, I ended up receiving a second order for free. Certainly can’t complain about that.

After both orders were secured in my stomach, I went straight to the bar and ordered a delicious microbrew. Even though it cost $9.50 in credit, I don’t think a Blazers game beer had ever tasted so good.

Well played, Portland Trail Blazers, well played.