Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

May 26, 2006

Fans blow into Raleigh for Sabres

PENDLETON — When Pendleton’s Fred Rollain realized how easy it was to get tickets to see the Sabres, he decided driving overnight to Raleigh, N.C. was worth it.

That’s why the team’s self-professed biggest fan and nearly 50 others are headed south for Game 5 on Sunday. All told, between a bus ticket, game ticket and hotel accommodations, it’s running him $400.

“Me and my neighbor were on the computer,” he said of the snap decision to make the trip. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We just decided why not? It’s the Buffalo Sabres, so who really cares about money?”

Tickets to the four home games in North Carolina are much easier to come by than are seats for Buffalo’s three games. Buffalo fans gobbled up every free seat in mere minutes. Carolina tickets are still available. Rollain got four seats in the arena’s 100 level for about $80 a seat.

A 14-hour drive that will begin at midnight before the Sunday evening game is no problem, Rollain, a co-owner of Fred’s Pizza in Pendleton, said.

Teal Travel Services owner Chuck Teal, whose business is shuttling people down and booking tickets and accommodations for $400, said after the Sabres 4-3 win Wednesday night, the 44 seats on the group’s rented charter sold out fast.

“Yesterday and today it’s been crazy filling up the rest of (the seats) with the win Wednesday night,” Teal said.

The relatively low cost of the endeavor is thanks to the availability of tickets, Teal said.

“Tickets were so easy to get,” he said. “When you play a traditional hockey town, there’s no way this is happening for this reasonable of a price. The tickets only averaged $80 a piece, which is cheaper than Buffalo.”

Rollain said his group of four couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to see a Sabres team he thinks has a shot at Lord Stanley’s Cup.

“I can’t see how we can’t win it,” he said. “The team, with the injuries, oh well, but I think we’re finally going to get it this year.”

Contact Eric DuVall at 439-9222, Ext. 6251.

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