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  1. #301
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    Greetings, skating fans!
    I have never been to a live skating competition. I saw a tour in 1993, the Aretha Franklin/skating combo in 2011, and a few skates from Emanuel Sandhu in, maybe, 2010. I have been seriously considering going to Skate America, and I appreciate your feedback.

    Is it too late in the game to make a decision once and for all and to say "yes"? By that, I mean: are there still all-competition tickets with good seats and is there accommodation that isn't crazily expensive? Especially for people who have been doing those searches recently, you may have a good answer. Going along with that, should I make my decision now or do you reckon I have some leg room to wait a bit before deciding for sure? I am leaning towards just saying I'll go because I was VERY impressed with the list of who is scheduled to attend. Many of the skaters are the only active skaters I would pay to see.

    Finally, if you have any other tips for a first-time competition attendee like me or any feedback at all, please type away. I am sure many of you have great insight into what might make the experience unforgettable instead of just okay.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #302
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    Plusdinfo - The one thing I would recommend for a first time attendee of a live competition is make sure you go to the practices. Especially the men. It is one of my favorite part of seeing live competitions. I personally plan on arriving Wednesday so I can see all of the practices on Thursday. Also you may not want to leave until Monday so that you can see the exhibition on Sunday night.

    It is not too late, but I would start making plans asap. I recently just decided to go as well. There are still all-event passes available and I believe Ticketmaster put the link back out there, if not you can call them. There are still some good seats, especially at the ends, not as much in the middle. As far as hotels, it's a bit trickier as Saturday night is pretty full and expensive at most hotels. If you are open to changing hotels in the middle of the stay, you may have more options. Here is what I have found at some of the hotels nearby:

    Wed and Thursday night you can get for about $169 at the Hilton Dtree Ft. Shelby. You can also get Sunday night for about $149, But unfortunately you can't really get Friday or Saturday night.

    The marriott renaissance center you could get all five nites, but you will need to search the dates separately. I would recommend 16-17th and then the 18th-21st or whatever your stay. It is running about $229-239 a nite.

    The crowne plaza still has rooms, but is a bit pricey. But is probably the closest hotel. They do have a few prepay rates if you search some of the dates separately (Sat I haven't seen the prepay rate).

    There is a people mover in detroit so if you are looking at other hotels not as close you may see how far they are from the people mover.

    Hope this helps. I keep checking the hotels periodically to see if anything changes. I really should have booked awhile ago.
    Liz

  3. #303
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    Liz, it's very kind of you to reply. Thank you for sharing that information. I don't mind changing hotels, but I am not used to paying so much! I always try for the cheapest option anywhere that is not dangerous/ridiculously unclean, so I tend to sleep in youth hostels (usually abroad) or $50 Expedia hotels. I will try to fit in some accommodation investigation soon.

    Thanks again for your input.

  4. #304
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    To all: what do you think about the different sections in the arena? Is there any way to know ahead of time if there are "bad" purchases like seats with limited viewing or seats in a section with any other problems? Should there be a clear view of the ice or will there be a net/glass boards up like at some hockey games? Is there a big difference between rows 8 and 18, i.e. are the rows at a big incline where the difference of a row or two makes a person really far up? I think I've read that being behind the judges is best; do you agree? Of the four basic directions (behind judges, across from judges, left of judges, right of judges), what is your ranking of preference? I think I am going to buy an all-event package (which is waaaay cheaper than I thought and much more than accommodation will be!), but I would love to get some feedback first.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  5. #305
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    There won't be any glass boards or visual obstructions other than possible TV cameras/tech panel stand (depending on where you sit). I always prefer the judges' side because I like to see the "front side" of the skaters' programs. It's particularly noticeable in ice dance because they face many of their elements toward the judges. A higher row like 18 is sometimes better, depending on the pitch of the seats, because you get a broader view of the ice and how the programs fill out the rink.

    I definitely second Liz's suggestion to attend all the practices. That was the coolest experience for me when I first started attending competitions. I like the ice dance practices best because they usually all wear their costumes instead of warm-up gear.
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  6. #306
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    Thanks for the feedback. I can see a ticket behind the judges I'd like to buy off Ticketmaster, but it appears they have a higher price than the Skate America website ($187 + fees vs. $165 + fees), so I think I'll wait until tomorrow to try the Skate America website's phone number again.

  7. #307
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    If you are looking for real cheap, there are a few hotels on Expedia within a mile or two that are about $54 a night, the cork town inn and stay inn and suites Detroit. I have no idea if they are close to people mover or not or if they are in a bad part of town or not. FYI Expedia doesn't seem to have too many rooms left at cork town inn. Hope it helps.

  8. #308
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plusdinfo View Post
    To all: what do you think about the different sections in the arena? Is there any way to know ahead of time if there are "bad" purchases like seats with limited viewing or seats in a section with any other problems? Should there be a clear view of the ice or will there be a net/glass boards up like at some hockey games? Is there a big difference between rows 8 and 18, i.e. are the rows at a big incline where the difference of a row or two makes a person really far up? I think I've read that being behind the judges is best; do you agree? Of the four basic directions (behind judges, across from judges, left of judges, right of judges), what is your ranking of preference? I think I am going to buy an all-event package (which is waaaay cheaper than I thought and much more than accommodation will be!), but I would love to get some feedback first.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    At this website, you can click on the interactive map on the top right and get a picture of what your view will be like in a particular section. That's how I picked my seats!!! Here's the link: http://rateyourseats.com/seating-gui...ouis-arena-nhl

  9. #309
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    Thanks for the link, DorbinFan! It helped me make my decision.

    The Cork Town Inn is very close to the arena. Detroit-informed users: is the short walk there at night relatively safe?

  10. #310
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    No. Don't walk from the Joe to the Cork Town Inn. If you stay there, see if they have a shuttle or take a taxi.

  11. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plusdinfo View Post
    Finally, if you have any other tips for a first-time competition attendee like me or any feedback at all, please type away. I am sure many of you have great insight into what might make the experience unforgettable instead of just okay.

    Thanks in advance!
    Minor tips: I always bring a small throw blanket. I find it a bit chilly at the rink, especially if you are sitting near the ice at the practice sessions. Also check the camera policy. Of course no flash photography always but each competition has different rules about photographing...

  12. #312
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    What about the area east of downtown, like the Stay Inn Suites? Is it safe to walk there? If I take a bus into Detroit during the daytime on Wednesday, is either okay to walk to from the bus station? I've been out on the streets of Detroit before, at daytime and nighttime (once with a friend, once alone; both times with a car, during Skate America, perhaps without one), and I have lived in and near many major cities, including Chicago, so I am not afraid of situations that are tense, but it is clearly stupid to do something that is outright stupid. I cannot judge the present situation in Detroit, as my last visit was two years ago.

    Herehere!: thanks for the blanket tip. A very heavy coat might do the trick for me, but I will probably pack a blanket just in case.

  13. #313
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plusdinfo View Post
    What about the area east of downtown, like the Stay Inn Suites? Is it safe to walk there? If I take a bus into Detroit during the daytime on Wednesday, is either okay to walk to from the bus station? I've been out on the streets of Detroit before, at daytime and nighttime (once with a friend, once alone; both times with a car, during Skate America, perhaps without one), and I have lived in and near many major cities, including Chicago, so I am not afraid of situations that are tense, but it is clearly stupid to do something that is outright stupid. I cannot judge the present situation in Detroit, as my last visit was two years ago.

    Herehere!: thanks for the blanket tip. A very heavy coat might do the trick for me, but I will probably pack a blanket just in case.
    I'm not familiar with that side of town.

    Of course, I haven't spent a whole lot of time in Corktown lately, either. Last time I was in the area, Michigan Avenue (which is the other direction from the Joe) was horrifying (burned out buildings etc), and Trumbull was a ghost town. Closer to the Joe is pretty industrial, from what I remember.

    Maybe it's changed, but I know I personally wouldn't feel comfortable there. The sad part is that my father grew up there. We used to walk to Tiger Stadium from my grandma's house.

  14. #314
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    Thanks for your take, sk8er1964. It's a shame that things have deteriorated in many areas of Detroit; at the very least, you have good memories of some parts you wouldn't want to spend time in these days.

  15. #315
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    I tried looking on google maps to get a sense of how far it is to walk from the "close" hotels to the arena, but it's hard to tell. The distance doesn't look far, but what's tricky on google maps is it's hard to tell where you can walk - it looks like some of the roads are either elevated or highways and not friendly to walkers. I was looking at the Crowne Plaza and it appears easy to cross Washington, and I assume there is some way around the Convention Center (I'm guessing that's the Convention Center - the big square building next to Joe Louis Arena), but can anyone who has actually been to the arena confirm?

    I was also looking at walking from some of the other hotels near the arena such as the Marriott and the Double Tree - are any of those easier to walk to the arena. I'm assuming all of those would be relatively safe during the day or when an event has just let out, but I'd appreciate any thoughts from people who know the area. Thanks!
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  16. #316
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    The Riverwalk goes from the Mariott to Joe Louis. Not sure what it's like, though, or how far because I've only walked from the RenCen to Hart Plaza.

    The square building is Cobo Center (the convention center, yes). Jefferson goes underneath Cobo, but you can cross it from above in front of the building. The problem you encounter is that the round part (to the right, looking at the map) is under construction - or was last time I was there in the spring - and getting around it to the Riverwalk may be a problem. However, there is a parking garage under Cobo that you may be able to walk through to get to the other side, by Joe Louis.

    Looks like all three hotels are fairly close to a people mover station, which stops inside Joe Louis. http://www.thepeoplemover.com/station-guide.id.3.htm

    ETA - you might even be able to get through Cobo Center to get to the Joe. There's an event there that weekend so it should be open. I didn't explore enough the last time I was there to know if there's an exit on the river side, but I can't imagine that there isn't.

    ETA again: Found a nice map showing hotels and people mover stops etc. http://cobocenter.s3.amazonaws.com/d...y_Map_2013.pdf
    Last edited by sk8er1964; 08-12-2013 at 06:35 PM.

  17. #317

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garden Kitty View Post
    I tried looking on google maps to get a sense of how far it is to walk from the "close" hotels to the arena, but it's hard to tell. The distance doesn't look far, but what's tricky on google maps is it's hard to tell where you can walk - it looks like some of the roads are either elevated or highways and not friendly to walkers. I was looking at the Crowne Plaza and it appears easy to cross Washington, and I assume there is some way around the Convention Center (I'm guessing that's the Convention Center - the big square building next to Joe Louis Arena), but can anyone who has actually been to the arena confirm?

    I was also looking at walking from some of the other hotels near the arena such as the Marriott and the Double Tree - are any of those easier to walk to the arena. I'm assuming all of those would be relatively safe during the day or when an event has just let out, but I'd appreciate any thoughts from people who know the area. Thanks!
    I asked about walking distance hotels in the Detroit forum on the Trip Advisor site - I thought the answers were helpful:

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic..._Michigan.html

  18. #318
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    Thanks, SkateSand and Sk8er1964 - very helpful!!
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  19. #319

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    If you are willing to drive to the arena or to the people mover, the Westin (4 star) in Southfield is having a sale on Priceline until Friday. $155/night and if you stay more than 2 nights:

    Stay 2 or more nights and get free buffet breakfast for two at the restaurant and free high speed internet in room. Please look for "Free buffet breakfast for two at the restaurant and free high speed internet" in the Room Type Chosen.

    The hotel is ~16 miles from the arena, but you may be able to scam free parking at Greektown Casino, which is on the People Mover.
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    Hope there is really good attendance for this event. Detroit being such a hotbed of skating/training centers, they should give DISCOUNTS through, I don't know, the US and Canadian federations (not too far from Toronto) to let young skaters (juveniles through say, Junior) to attend the event. And this would not to be unfair to FANS. The skaters wouldn't need to have the best seats. At Nationals they sit them high up. This is to help put butts in seats and inspire the next generation.

    The poor parents of these young skaters are racked with bills as it is. But if there was a special PACKAGE for skaters, especially for those who wouldn't also have to fly. That would be a nice gesture.

    To attend an actual event in person watching many of the skaters who will be at the Olympics, would be so inspiring. Just a thought.

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