SPG Moments Review: 2017 NHL All-Star Weekend VIP Experience in LA

I was the winning bidder of SPG Moments‘ ‘2017 NHL All-Star Weekend VIP in LA’ package! I won the same auction last year ‘2016 NHL All-Star VIP in Nashville‘.

The package cost 65,001 SPG Starpoints to win the auction. I thought it was a bargain considering it took 109,500 SPG Starpoints to win the auction last year.

The VIP package included the following:

  • Two (2) tickets to one (1) day of the 2017 NHL Fan Fair in Los Angeles
  • A photo on the players’ bench on Friday, 27 January
  • Two (2) tickets to the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday, 28 January
  • Lunch for you and your guest on Saturday, 28 January (Location/Time TBD)
  • Two (2) tickets to the NHL All-Star Saturday Night Party
  • A behind-the-scenes tour
  • Two (2) tickets to a pre-game party on Sunday, 29 January
  • Two (2) tickets to the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, 29 January
  • Access for two (2) to the post-game press conference on Saturday, 28 January and
  • Sunday, 29 January, if available
  • NHL All-Star merchandise

Last year’s NHL All-Star Weekend in Nashville was awesome and didn’t think it was possible to top it. The trip was even more unbelievable this year.

 

Day 1: Friday

We arrived in LA on Friday morning with multiple events scheduled in the afternoon and evening. We got an Airbnb a block away from Staples Center with an amazing view of the arena. It was a luxury penthouse that was 3-4 times the size of a regular hotel room for half the price. I highly recommend you take a look on Airbnb before booking a hotel. Read my Airbnb review and get $40 free travel credits towards your first booking

First up, we walked to JW Marriott in LA Live to pick-up NHL gift bags that was included in the package. To our surprise, within minutes of entering the hotel, we walked by Mario Lemieux, Scott Stevens and Sidney Crosby! We knew JW Marriott was the place to be after we got our swag bags (NHL All-Star branded backpack, program, water bottle, and headphones). We went to the hotel lobby and ordered beers at the bar. We hung-out for about an hour and saw Gretzky, Toews, Lidstrom, MacInnis, Niewendyk, Fehr, Laine, MacKinnon, Trocheck, Smith, and Fowler! We approached MacInnis and Niewendyk, told them we were huge Flames fans from Calgary and got pics with them.

After that, we met up with our NHL host (Nicole). She escorted us into the arena and got a tour of the players dressing rooms, players bench, media room, and press box. I took a pic sitting in Crosby’s stall and was shocked at how old and worn-out his equipment was. His jock strap and shoulder pads must have been at least 10 years old.

 

After the behind-the-scenes tour, we went back to our condo and got ready for the NHL 100 event. It was a black tie gala at the Microsoft Theater at LA Live to celebrate the 100 greatest players of all time. Our VIP package included 2 premium orchestra tickets ($300 face value per ticket). As we were walking through security into the building, McDavid and his family was directly in front our us. John Hamm hosted the event and John Legend performed two songs. Wonderful experience being all dressed up at an exclusive event with so many NHL Stars and Legends. We saw Tavares and Modano in the lobby and got pictures with them. It was a long day with an even busier day tomorrow.

 

DAY 2: Saturday

Action packed day. We met up with Nicole at 10 AM to attend the Players Red Carpet Entrance and Media Scrum. Nicole knew most of the players and got a lot of them to stop and take pics with us. We were in a roped off section with about 100 kids. I have a new found respect and admiration for the following players: Marchand, Rask, McDonagh, Simmons, Burns, and Gaudreau. They were the only players to take their time and stop to sign autographs for every kid. Tuukka Rask went above and beyond! Not only did he signed autographs for every kid, he initiated conversations with everyone took the time to let each kid take a selfie with him! He was there forever. Amazing guy.

Most players would sign a few autographs then give every kid a high-five. Big thumbs down to Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews. They purposely walked on the far side of the hallway and ignored all the kids. I heard a few NHL reps whisper and say Gordie Howe would roll over in his grave if he saw that. Shame on McDavid and Matthews.

I emailed the Flames and told them I was going to the All-Star game and they set-up a meet and greet with Johnny Gaudreau! A group of about dozen Flames fans met up with him to get autographs and pics. He was a gentlemen and was happy to see the C of Red in LA. We made a brief cameo on the Flames’ Instagram Stories and Flames TV.

After that, we attended the Skills Competition. We got hospitality passes that gave us access to a private area in the arena that served free food and had an open bar. We had a great time. LA Kings fans are very knowledgeable. We had great conversations with everyone sitting around us.

Immediately after the game, our package included tickets to the NHL All-Star Saturday Night Party. The league went full out on the private party. Beautiful venue and tons of free food and open bar everywhere. Snoop Dogg and Blink 182 performed on the stage.

 

DAY 3: Sunday
Best. Day. Ever!

Our package included access to the Pre-Game Party at NHL Fan Fair. It was closed off to the general public. Free food and open bar everywhere. Lots of hockey related activities and you could take pics with the Stanley Cup and trophies. Following brunch, we met the NHL Network crew. They were just about to go on-air so we didn’t stay long.

After that, Nicole escorted us into Staples Center for another behind-the-scenes tour on game day. As we walked by the players locker room, we saw a bunch of people wearing jerseys. Our initial thought was fans wearing a bunch of vintage jerseys of some of the greats. As we got closer, we were shocked to see it was actually the 100 greatest players wearing their own jerseys! They were standing around mingling waiting to be introduced to the ice for a pre-game ceremony. There was no one else there except us. It blew our minds! We hung around and talked to a handful of legends and managed to get pics with Bobby Orr, Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman, Pat LaFontaine, Eric Lindros, Nicklas Lidstrom and Joe Nieuwendyk (in a Flames jersey)! It was a surreal experience. We were geeking out hard!

After that, we went to our seats and watched the All-Star game. I love the new 3 on 3 tournament. You could tell the players cared and played relatively hard (for an All-Star game). Team Metropolitan won the tournament and the Million Dollar prize.

Immediately after the game, Nicole escorted us attend the Post Game Conference. Wayne Simmons (All-Star MVP) answered a bunch of questions in room packed with media.

 

Is. This. Real. Life? So many 🐐 #NHL100 #NHLAllStar #fanboy #geekingout #spgmoments #travelhacking

A video posted by Ray Travels Free (@raytravelsfree) on

We’re still in awe and gushing how we got to hangout and meet all the GOATs. Best weekend ever. Big thanks to SPG, NHL and the Flames for an unbelievable once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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