Flames fans flock to the Red Lot stage for a free contest. PHOTO: JOSH WERLE

A new playoff screening event offered by the Calgary Flames is bringing a whole new meaning to the “C of Red” slogan. 

Starting last week, Flames fans from around the city have been able to gather and watch their team compete for a chance to win the NHL Stanley Cup Championship at the Red Lot — set up in Lot 3 of Stampede Park, just outside the entrance of the Saddledome. 

The Red Lot provides the sights and sounds of a live game, with a sea of red jerseys and a gigantic TITAN screen that plays a live broadcast of the hockey game. 

Flames fan Nathan Bannerman, who has cheered for the team since the mid-’90s, said the energy watching game one of the Flames’ series against the Dallas Stars, where Calgary won 1-0 was unlike anything he’s felt before. 

“You could just feel how nervous everyone was just holding on to that one-goal lead the whole game.” 

The Flames game is broadcast live on the TITAN screen at the Red Lot event.  PHOTO: JOSH WERLE

Playoff tickets have been hard to come by, and it can be extremely expensive to attend.

On May 5, Ticketmaster’s cheapest seat for Calgary’s second game against the Dallas Stars was $123 in the press level — located in the nose bleeds above the upper level.

With an increase in both demand and prices for tickets, Flames fans who won’t have a chance to attend the live game can still go to the Red Lot for every playoff home game free of charge. 

Dallas Kitt, the manager of events for the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, believes the Red Lot event provides the same thrill as being in the ‘Dome. 

“To be able to provide another opportunity for our Flames fans and the community to gather as the “C of Red” outside in the Red Lot community viewing party is absolutely amazing to feel that energy and that electricity outside of the Saddledome.” 

The event features numerous vendors for food and drink, face painting, live music performances and celebrity guest appearances. Game 2 featured a guest appearance from social media influencer duo “On The Bench,” who have 455,000 followers on Instagram and are known for their hockey-related comedic bits. 

Social media influencer duo “On The Bench” takes the stage to get the crowd fired up for the game. PHOTO: JOSH WERLE

Fans at the event were happy to take part in a community gathering once again. Justis Scott took advantage of this opportunity to gather with fellow fans, as he attempted to get everyone at the event to sign his jersey.

“I love seeing the fans and the atmosphere of the whole thing,” says Scott. “I’m getting people to sign my jersey because I want them to witness history because we’re going to win the cup this year.” 

Fans Roger Leonard and Brad Gogal have seen the Flames win the Stanley Cup before, and they got in costume at this year’s Red Lot event in hopes the Flames will be able to do it again. 

“It’s good being back with a group of people again. Having fun and laughing, that’s what it’s all about,” says Leonard. 

Gogal praises the “camaraderie” of the event, saying it’s a great space for all Calgarians to enjoy. 

“It doesn’t matter who you are, you can just come here and have a good time.”

Bannerman, meanwhile, had so much fun at the Red Lot event, he wants another opportunity to experience all it has to offer.

“Especially with how things have been the past couple of years, to finally have a chance to get together and come together as a community and just relax… I would do it again right now if I could.” 

The Calgary Flames will be back at the Saddledome for a fifth game against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday May 11.

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