Canucks’ Club 500 nabs five-star rating from fans

Penthouse Level area offers exclusive way to watch the game  

An all-inclusive seating area with a contemporary vibe, Club 500 offers a hockey expert’s view of the action

For Randy Hordo, a partner and associated senior counsel at Nathanson, Schachter & Thompson LLP, revealing information about Rogers Arena’s Club 500 feels a little bit like divulging sacred information.

“This is the best-kept secret up here, I think,” the season ticket holder said while eating dessert between periods with his wife, Jo-Anne. “I always used to worry you wouldn’t get a great view up here, but it’s just spectacular. You’re watching the game the same way the general manager does, so you can see all the plays forming.”

Hordo has had tickets for Club 500 on the Penthouse Level for three seasons now, and regularly gives them away to clients, friends and co-workers. Tickets are offered for single games or through a membership package and are also available for some concerts. Hordo said he was sold a few years ago when a friend brought him up for a game. He noted the rotating tapas-style buffet with chef-attended action stations means he and his wife never get bored of the food, because they never know what’s going to be served until they check out the offerings on game night.

“Everyone I give tickets to just raves about this place,” added Hordo, who regularly comes before puck drop to eat dinner. “It doesn’t really matter if you’re a hockey fan; this is just a great night out now.”

Tonight the Canucks are duelling it out with Western Conference foes the Nashville Predators. It’s the perfect game to watch from Club 500’s bird’s-eye vantage point. Defence is key during this tight-checking tilt as each breakout unfolds with a chess-like mentality to it, perfect for the thinking-man fan of hockey.

Andy Bates, who’s been a season ticket holder for four seasons, attests to this statement.

“Number one, the atmosphere,” he said, listing off the perks of Club 500. “Number two, the seats are the best. I’m a hockey guy, and I think the seats are the best in the rink. I’m over here in Row 1, an unobstructed view, it’s fantastic.”

The overall allure of Club 500 is you don’t have to be a diehard hockey fan like Bates to have a blast. Anu Gill, who came with friends and family, said it’s a full-on night of premium entertainment, plus some world-class hockey to boot.

“It’s a unique experience,” she said. “You get to enjoy the meals and bonding with everybody that you’re with, and then you get to go enjoy the game with them, which is really nice because you get the best of both worlds. It’s kind of like a homely feel; you’re having dinner together as a family and also watching the game live.”

Late in the contest everything comes together for a storybook ending. The Canucks break the deadlock late in the third, Henrik Sedin with the goal and his 999th point, one shy of cementing his legendary status within the league. Goaltender Ryan Miller gets the shutout, the game’s first star and moves into a tie for 20th all-time in terms of NHL wins. Plus with the win the Canucks move into a tie with the Los Angeles Kings for the last playoff wild-card spot.

After the game we chat with server Laura Bryce, who’s been working at Club 500 for three seasons. She said the staff love it up here as much as the patrons, and each game they have one goal in mind.

“Our job is to make people feel comfortable and give them that VIP experience, to feel exclusive. We get to know them over the course of the season, so it’s just a fun place to work – everyone is happy to be here.”