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Can't afford Kings or Ducks tickets? Enjoy the (Ontario) Reign

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A lot of my friends who are hockey fans would love to introduce new people to the game, but one issue gets in the way: cost. One thing you want to do when bringing newcomers to their first game is get them good seats. At a Kings or Ducks game, that can run you more than $200 per ticket, not an easy buy in this economy.

There is a local alternative, however, that I experienced Saturday night. Out in Ontario, you can see some great hockey at a reasonable price, and you might see some future Kings stars while you are at it.

The Ontario Reign are a minor-league hockey team that plays its home games at Citizens Business Bank Arena. On Saturday night I took my family to the game and sat in the fifth row for $22 a ticket. In return, I got to see: a 3-2 Reign victory in overtime, a fight, two mascots (Blaze the Dragon and the Dark Knight), cheerleaders and a "Chuck the Puck" contest.

Also, it seemed every section won a coupon to a local business during in-game giveaways, a miniature blimp flew overhead during intermissions dropping coupons to fans, and, before the game, players from both teams often tossed pucks into the stands for the multitude of kids who were at the game.

We so often get caught up in all the negativity in the sports world, whether it be athlete arrests, steroids or Richard Sherman tirades. It was nice to go to an event, have a great time, watch others have a great time and not go home with a depleted bank account. Try it, and you won't be disappointed.

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