Nov 16, 2017

Hey Barracuda fans! Nick Nollenberger here. Can you believe we’re almost halfway through November? I won’t be writing anything next Thursday because it’s Thanksgiving, so I want to wish everyone before a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. 

I’m beyond thankful for everyone’s support over the last year and the humbling opportunity to work for the organization I’ve loved since I was a kid.

We’re on the road a lot, so I get the chance to explore different cities and their nuances. Below I’m going to rank my favorite things about each Pacific Division city we visit and the handful of places outside of the Pacific we go to as well. If you want to ask me questions and have me answer them on my weekly blog, please tweet at the Barracuda twitter page using the hashtag #AskNick.

(Reminder: This list only includes cities that the Barracuda have visited over the last two years)

Favorite building...

San Diego is old, and the broadcasting vantage point feels like a mile away from the ice, but the stands are always packed, and the energy in the building makes it a ton of fun to call a game. Winnipeg (Bell MTS Place) is an NHL building which always makes a huge difference, but what I like so much about it is the press box is perched over the ice allowing you to look directly down on the action. Cleveland (Quicken Loans Arena) was pretty impressive, too. Another professional sports building, the Q has a massive big screen for the Cavaliers, which provides an amazing hockey environment. The broadcast booth is also only about 20 rows back. Every building holds unique characteristics that make them special, so I can’t choose just one.

Best city...

I love going down to San Diego because it gives me a chance to see my older brother who lives down there along with some good buddies. Tucson is fun because it’s the city I went to college in, and heading back to Texas to play in San Antonio and Austin is always a treat. If I had to choose one, San Diego is my choice. Can’t beat the weather or lifestyle and the games are always highly competitive and emotional.

Best AHL city for food…

The best food I’ve had over my year and a half on the road in the American League came at the Austin airport. Yes, that’s right, I said the airport. Texas is known of course for its barbeque, but where we stay doesn’t provide for much local food options. Many of the restaurants that are within reach are chained. But the last time we were in Austin I got breakfast tacos at the airport that included a home made tortilla, egg, smoked brisket and a smokey/spicy barbeque sauce… truly unbelievable. Thank you, Troy Grosenick. He paid.

Best broadcast booth…

For some, this may not be much of a big deal, but a good broadcast booth is a thing of beauty. Bakersfield, Ontario, and Winnipeg all offer you your own room which is huge. No distraction goes a long way.

Best hotel…

All the hotels we stay at are nice so I’ve got to get a little picky when making this decision. Bakersfield is great because it’s essentially connected to the arena, and San Diego offers warm chocolate chip cookies upon arrival, but the biggest deciding point for me on whether a hotel is great or not, is the gym. That’s why I’ve got to go with Austin, again. Most hotel gyms feature a few machines and dumbbells up to 50 pounds. Austin had kettlebells, medicine balls, squat racks, athletic bands etc. You get the drift, it was like a full gym.

Best media meal...

San Diego! In the times we’ve been down there, there has been pulled pork, poke bowls, tacos, etc. I don’t always eat the meals on the road, but I make sure to eat when we’re down in SD.

More questions? Send them my way using the hashtag #AskNick.

Talk to you all two weeks from today. Enjoy your weekend, and GO CUDA!

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