SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - San Jose is "the" place to be for hockey fans this weekend. The NHL All-Star game is being held Saturday at the SAP Center. Festivities kicked off Thursday with the opening of the Fan Fair at San Jose’s McEnery Convention Center.
“I got the boys here,” said Kamyar Mohager of San Jose. “They are excited too. We’re hoping to meet some players and shoot some puck.”
The convention floor is filled with interactive game testing fans hockey skills from speed to agility and hockey rinks for the young ones.
“The event is pretty fun,” said Vicki Prange of Campbell. “We are enjoying all the mascots roaming around and taking pictures.”
In addition to the games, in the Hockey Hall of Fame sits the Stanley Cup where fans can get up close and take pictures with the coveted trophy.
“It’s just so amazing, up close, how detailed and how beautiful that thing is especially for how old it is,” said Justin Wilton of San Jose. “It’s a dream come true for me.”
Wiltron got tickets for him and his dad to Saturday’s game. He bought the tickets $300 dollars apiece for nosebleed seats.
“It’s a once in a lifetime thing,” said Wilton. “They had the All-Star game back in 1997. Probably wouldn't be back here for awhile. It’s worth the money and wait.”
Fans will get the opportunity to meet some of hockey's biggest names. NHL All-Star sharks defenseman Brent Burns made a cameo surprising a fan at the virtual experience game booth.
“Usually they have rinks set up, dressing rooms,” said Burns. “It’s great for everyone to see a little bit of our life.”
Federal employees affected by the government shutdown or not can get up to four free tickets to Fan Fair.
“Some people are going through a hardship so we thought it would be a nice opportunity for them to come and enjoy fan fair,” said NHL Spokeswoman Nilva Milord.