Fans were shopping Friday for Dallas Stars merchandise at the team’s home, the American Airlines Center. But they were disappointed the Stanley Cup Final starting Saturday would not be played there.
Shopper Lyndsey Ozanus said her family has been Stars fans for as long as she has been alive.
“My parents bought season tickets when the Minnesota North Stars came down to Dallas in 93. I was born in 93. We’re a family of six and we’re like the biggest Stars fans. So this is exciting,” she said.
Brandt Rensmeyer and his wife Micaiah Galpin even bought a Dallas Stars shirt for their dog to support the team.
“So we're really pumped about that. He's going to love it,” Rensmeyer said
But one wish from that dedicated Stars fan about this season has not come true.
“Every night when I go to bed I keep thinking and praying, maybe for some reason they would bring the games back. For some reason, I would love to have the games here and be able to go see it,” Rensmeyer said.
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Sadly, the games will be played at the National Hockey League COVID-19 bubble in Edmonton, Alberta Canada, with no fans allowed.
It’s bound to make traffic much lighter around the American Airlines Center.
But Victory Park resident Marco Campa said crowds for sports events is part of living beside the stadium.
“It would have been worth having it. I would have given up the traffic for the chance for people to come see it live,” Campa said.
Restaurants that would have been packed must limit COVID-19 crowds for these games.
Lea Tapp, a manager of Hero at Victory Plaza, said fans have been keeping her restaurant with many big screens quite busy.
“And we can make sure we can provide a safe place for everybody to come and enjoy and still have some sort of normalcy with sports because everyone wants something to root for. We couldn't be more proud,” Tapp said.
The Dallas Sports Commission estimates the city would have enjoyed a $5 million economic impact from out of town fans and normal crowds at AAC Stanley Cup games.
“We’ll still bring the party though, so it’s ok,” Micaiah Gilpin said.
The AAC has been open to a limited number of fans to watch games on the big screens.
“It's not as fun but the excitement of seeing Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin is exactly what it should be. It's a great time in Dallas,” Lyndsey Ozanus said.
Now, the fans hope the Stars will bring that Stanley Cup home.