The completion of the new hockey arena in time for this season was not just a victory for hockey, but for THON as well. Last year, several people were treated for hypothermia while waiting in line outside the Bryce Jordan Center. This year, the combination of the new digital line procedure and the opening of Pegula as a waiting area for those attempting to enter (plus the relatively good weather) has eased those concerns. But what’s the atmosphere like inside Terry’s Hockey Palace?
“We were the first OPP committee here,” said a member of an OPP committee, mentioning how they arrived at midnight to set up, but there was nobody there. Their responsibilities included taking out and changing garbage bags, but “Nobody has any garbage to throw out. Nobody is really doing anything.”
The atmosphere of THON is certainly not resonating through the 6,000 seat, $100 million holding tank, as people sit with their heads in their hands, charging their phones and waiting for that text telling them their number has been called.
The jumbotron overhead almost taunts the spectators in the stands as it displays the vibrant live stream of THON against the blue white and grey backdrop and atmosphere of measured anticipation of Pegula.
One student remarked that she felt “Kind of deflated” waiting around. “The energy in there and the energy in here are polar opposites. But it’ll be worth the wait.”
Here’s to hoping everyone in there gets a chance to stand with their friends and family sooner rather than later!