A Fayetteville Marksmen game is a great frugal family night out. Find out what to expect at a Fayetteville Marksmen game at Crown Coliseum.
If you’re heading to the area to check out a game, read our other posts about Fayetteville, NC.
Over the weekend, Pete and I were invited to a Fayetteville Marksmen hockey game. It had been a long time since I’ve been to a hockey game. The last one I went to was the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins when I lived in Pennsylvania. And that was a lifetime ago. And before that, I had covered hockey a few times when I worked at the sports section of a newspaper.
Hockey was so hard for me to cover for the paper. Substitutions happen so quickly, and there’s no stop in play to do so (like there is in basketball). So it was really easy for me to lose track of who was on the ice.
I like hockey. It’s a fun sport. But I like it a lot more when I’m just a spectator, rooting for a team instead of worrying about the specifics.
Even if you don’t like hockey, you’ll like going to a Fayetteville Marksmen game. Trust me.
What To Expect At A Fayetteville Marksmen Game At Crown Coliseum
Who are the Fayetteville Marksmen?
The Fayetteville Marksmen are a professional minor league hockey team based in Fayetteville, NC. The team plays in the SPHL (Southern Professional Hockey League).
How long have the Fayetteville Marksmen been around?
As the Marksmen, since 2017.
So the team is brand new?
Not exactly. The name is brand new, but there was a local minor league hockey team previously. The Cape Fear FireAntz (yes, that’s the actual name) started playing in 2002. At the end of the 2017 season, new owners Jeffrey M. Longo and local businessman Chuck Norris changed the name.
Jeff Longo left after the first season, but Chuck Norris is still at the helm.
Wait. Chuck Norris?
The Chuck Norris?
No. Not that Chuck Norris. The one owns a construction company, and, as far as I can tell, doesn’t star in any action movies. Although, he is a former US Army Paratrooper and is a Veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm, so he is an action star in his own right.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the team.
When do the Fayetteville Marksmen play?
The season opened on October 19 and the regular season ends on April 6. Playoffs start after that. You can check out the full schedule here.
Games are mostly Fridays through Sundays with the occasional Thursday game here and there.
Where do the Fayetteville Marksmen play?
The team’s home ice is at the Crown Coliseum, which is part of the Crown Complex (1960 Coliseum Dr.)
Are tickets expensive?
They’re not. Tickets range from $12 to $30, but there are promotions. On January 26, for Operation 8lackout (yes, blackout with an 8), all tickets are $8. And for the week before, January 19, kids who have all A’s and B’s on their report card can get a free ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket.
How can you get tickets?
You can order them ahead of time online here. You can also get tickets at the venue itself.
What’s the best place to sit?
Honestly, there’s not a bad seat in the house. We sat everywhere during our trip — well, everywhere except the players’ bench. But we sat in a suite — the Friends of the Crown lounge — above the entire rink. And then we stood in the “Ice Suites” — right against the plastic around the rink. We stopped in the 100 section, sat in the 200’s, and even went above the 200’s to the broadcast booth.
I’ll be honest. That’s the worst seat because you have to walk up so. many. stairs. I was so winded when we got up there. But, as a regular ticket holder, you’re not going up to the broadcast booth, so don’t worry. Every other seat in the arena is great.
Especially if you’re like me and right up against the barrier when someone gets slammed into it.
How long is the game?
A hockey game is three 20 minute periods, plus intermissions after the first and second periods. Start to finish, though, a game takes about 2.5 hours.
How’s the noise?
It’s a hockey game. It’s not something quiet, like a ballet. But it’s actually not that bad. If you’re walking around the outside, near the restrooms or the food, you can have a conversation without screaming.
Actually, you don’t have to scream during the game either. Just when a goal is scored.
Do they check your bags at the door?
Can you bring it outside food and drink?
No, you can’t.
Is there food inside?
Yup. And lots of concessions. There’s chicken, pizza, burgers, hot dogs (which are often on promotion for $1), pretzels, Italian ice, and more.
Soda is 1/2 off and popcorn is only $1 at the January 26 game, so you can actually eat at the game without breaking the bank.
How about beer?
Yes, there’s beer and wine inside the venue for purchase if you’re 21 or older.
Is it cold inside?
This was my biggest question, to be honest. I’m always cold, so I made sure to put Pete’s scarf in my purse before we went in. Turns out, I didn’t need it. I didn’t even need to button my jacket. And so many spectators didn’t even have a jacket, despite it being January. So yes, it’s an ice rink, but it’s not freezing inside.
Are there other things to do than just hockey?
Yes. Well, sort of.
At one part of the venue, there were hockey nets set up with a puck and sticks for kids to play. There was also a spot to take photos and Marky (the team’s mascot) was out before the game taking photos with fans.
We went to Pucks and Pups Night and there were two women making balloon animals in the shapes of dogs. I’m not sure if this happens always, or just happened this night.
What about between periods?
So this is fun, and this is why I much prefer minor league games over major league ones. They’re so much more relaxed and fun.
During Pucks and Pups Night, there was a wiener dog race during the first intermission. During the second, there was a Battle Balls race.
Can you buy souvenirs?
If you enter through the main gate, there’s a table that sells souvenirs, like shirts and raffle tickets for signed jerseys. We actually didn’t stop to really look at it, partially because I didn’t have room in my bag to carry anything (it was, as I mentioned before, stuffed with a huge scarf I didn’t need).
Why is there an empty guarded seat in the 200’s section?
Oh my heart, thanks for asking.
So in the upper section, there’s an empty seat that’s sectioned off so no one can sit in it. The unoccupied seat is in memory of the over 92,000 Americans who have been unaccounted for since World War I. It was dedicated with help from Rolling Thunder, an advocacy group that brings awareness to prisoners of war and missing in action service members.