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Downtown Rochester became the focal point for hockey in Western New York, as the National Hockey League lockout lingers.
The Amerks had their season opener this Friday evening. For hockey fans it's the hottest ticket around town.
"I'm anticipating either a sell out or close to. This place is going to be rockin' tonight," said
Matt Meddaugh, hockey fan.
Because of the NHL lockout, the Amerks game is the only option for fans in the region to get their hockey fix.
"I'm a huge time hockey fan. I at least try to go up to the Sabres game once a year, but unfortunately with the lockout this year, I'm hoping they can get that resolved," Jessie Collins, hockey fan.
"Since the lockout, I kind of don't have anything to do so the Amerks are the next best thing," said Lauren Ballard, hockey fan.
This Ballard's first Amerks game. Like dozens of fans, she lined up before the game to meet the players and get autographs during their pre-game red carpet entrance.
Some Amerks fans believe if it wasn't for the lockout, meeting some of their favorite NHL players may not have been an option.
"It helps us because we get Marcus Filigno and Brendan McNabb, and some of the guys that have been up with the Sabres last season," Kelly Toombs, hockey fan.
Robert Kopacz, the Vice President of Business Operations, says they anticipated selling nearly 9,000 tickets for the game. He says 7,500 tickets were pre-sold. Although the lockout may bring new fans, ticket numbers are comparable to last year's opening day.
"It's an unfortunate situation. It's something we have no control over so. We're going to come in game in and game out and play hockey here and hopefully give the fans something to cheer about," said Kopacz.
Which is what fans want, while hoping the nearly month-long lockout soon ends.
"I'm hoping it ends by Christmas but from what I'm hearing on Twitter and social media sites, it doesn't look good," said Meddaugh.