Student spectator memories

Locations, fans, extra moments that make watching sports special

Emilia Bishop

The Seattle Kraken skate to congratulate Seattle Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) after an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 6, 2023, in Seattle. The Kraken won 4-2 clinching a playoff spot for the first time in franchise history. (Rio Giancarlo)

Sports have always had the power to captivate audiences and create unforgettable moments. From iconic victories to stunning upsets, countless sports memories have stood the test of time and continue to inspire fans worldwide. Whether you are a die-hard fan or a casual spectator, there is something undeniably special about witnessing history in the making. Seattle Pacific University students are no exception to having memorable spectator moments, whether in the city of Seattle or on an international scale.

One particular experience shared by Makenna Jacklin, a sophomore and exercise science major, was when she watched a hockey game at Tampa Bay Arena between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Vancouver Canucks.

“The excitement of the lightning simulators that went off every time Tampa Bay scored created an electrifying atmosphere in the arena,” Jacklin said. “The special effects added to the already thrilling game.”

Watching live sports can be an emotional and unforgettable experience, especially when it involves witnessing the passion and dedication of players and fans alike. Grant Hadfield, a sophomore exercise science major, had such an experience during a game in 2018, where he watched the U23 Ugandan men’s national team play soccer in unbearable heat with no shade to protect from the sun.

“I was struck by the sheer determination and dedication of the players and fans to win the game,” Hadfield said. “The players and fans’ energy and passion made it an unforgettable experience for me.”

This game showcased the incredible spirit of sports and the resilience and dedication it takes to succeed. It is often said that sports bring people together, and Hadfield’s experience is a testament to that.

“Despite the differences in backgrounds and cultures, the shared love for the sport brought everyone together and created a powerful sense of unity and camaraderie,” Hadfield said.

Team USA athlete Chase Ealey celebrates after winning the World Athletics Championships shot put at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, July 16, 2022. (Rio Giancarlo)

The Seattle Kraken, a relatively new National Hockey League (NHL) team, has already made a name for themselves with their unique style and qualification for the 2023 NHL playoffs.

“One of the most striking features of my experience was how they used projections on the ice before the game started,” junior physiology major Ben Lucas said. “The arena itself is also quite special, with the ice rink located underground, giving the whole experience a unique and modern feel.”

As the Kraken continue to grow and evolve as a team, it is clear that they are fearless in pushing the boundaries of what a sports experience can be.

Sometimes, the most memorable sports moments are not about the game’s outcome but about the players and fans’ passion, dedication and camaraderie. Whether local or international, being up close and personal creates unforgettable memories.

These stories showcase the power of sports to bring people together and create unforgettable moments. From the electrifying atmosphere at a Tampa Bay hockey game to the resilience and passion of the Ugandan soccer team to the immersive display of images and animations at a Seattle Kraken game, each experience is unique but shares a common thread of the emotional impact of sports. The stories serve as a reminder that sports are more than just a game; they are a powerful force that can inspire and bring people together.