Garden Square Alive with Raptors Fans

I’m a huge fan of sports.  For a few hours every week I cheer on my favourite teams as a way to relax. The GTA sports gods haven’t been very kind over the past 20 or so years. We’ve witnessed promising seasons end in disappointment over and over again.

The last 12 months though have been more satisfying.  With the Jays first post-season run since 1993 last October, and the Raptors Eastern Conference Finals performance this year, there’s a lot to feel good about.

Witnessing your team do well is an excitement like no other, especially in the company of others.  This past Friday I joined the crowd at Garden Square in Brampton to watch Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Final game between the Raptors and Cavaliers. And I wasn’t the only one.  There were over 300 like-minded Bramptonians.

Kids were running around and playing hide and go seek while their parents enjoyed the game on the big screen.  Many children made signs which they proudly displayed during the game.  The bars, coffee shops and restaurants in the area were full of people trying to get the best seats in the house to enjoy good food and drink while watching the game.  A DJ played music to entertain the crowd during commercial breaks and halftime.

All in attendance had a great time and I look forward to doing it again. Next time though, there are a few improvements I would recommend to the spectators and the city…

  • The DJ’s music was drowned out by the big screen’s volume during commercials.  Give the DJ the ability to turn the screen volume down during breaks in the game.
  • The crowd wasn’t always engaged.  No “Lets Go Raptors” or “Defence” chants.
  • Would have been nice if the city arranged for giveaways and contests during the game to enhance the fan experience.  The prizes could have been donated by the surrounding shops/bars/restaurants or even by our local “pro” sports team that recently received funding from the city.
  • Get a live shot of Garden Square fans on the game broadcast. How cool would that be?

Although the outcome to Friday’s game wasn’t what the crowd was cheering for, the city is on to a good thing here. I for one am looking forward to more broadcasts at Garden Square.