Attending a Sasktchewan Rattler's basketball game is a must this summer! With the fun atmosphere and high-level basketball, I highly recommend it! It is also a great family activity, and I will share some information to help you with your next game!
If you plan on taking public transportation to the game, getting there with Saskatoon Transit is super easy! There is always a bus from the downtown terminal, 23rd St. & 2nd Ave, to the game (and any other public event there.) When my husband and I attend games without the kids, we plan a safe ride and jump on the bus. It is convenient, and you can access bus passes, routes and services on your phone. If you are driving, there are ample parking spaces at SaskTel Centre with multiple entrances. A tip: I always back into the parking space so I can quickly pull out and get away after the game!
The Saskatchewan Rattlers have some of the best Merchandise (in my opinion!) Before the season started, I stocked up at the Rattler Shop (2-183 2nd Ave S) and got us all shirts and a jersey for my husband! You can also grab your gear at the game; there is everything you need. Two of my kids used their "own money" and bought a foam finger and a basketball!
You can't go to a sporting event without indulging in some snacks (especially when the kids are along!) There are plenty of snack options at SaskTel Centre. One of our favourites is the mini donuts; the warm sugary goodness hits the spot. You can also get burgers, poutine, dry ribs, nachos, popcorn, and more. There is no shortage of food!
Community & Culture
The Rattlers organization sets an example of inclusion and respect by incorporating Indigenous culture at their games. Before the game starts, there is a Treaty 6 Land Acknowledgement and a message from Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief, Mark Arcand. It shows they are taking action towards Truth & Reconciliation and the 94 Calls to Action. At this game, they honoured Residential Survivors, sang the Treaty Song and had the National Anthem sung in Cree & English by Christine from Awasis Boutique; it was a wonderful experience.
As I mentioned, a Rattler game is a fun family event or date night out; it really is for all ages. They do a fantastic job creating a community feel at the game. From the minute you walk in, the cheerleaders from the Venom Dance Team to greet you, Swwwish the Mascot is around to snap a photo with, get your picture taken at the True North Photo Booth and many other vendors. Be sure to give yourself enough time to walk around before you head to your seats.
On the floor, they have a new area called the Baseline Bar. It has great seats to watch the action, a concession, a giant Jenga, and pinball machines (I was able to sneak away from the kids to check it out and play a few games!) There is also a section for the kids! It is a gated area with mini hoops, basketballs, bouncy castles, and colouring. Here is another tip: get your seats close to the kid area, so you can see them play while you watch the game!
After the game is finished, be sure to stick around until after the game. The players come out for autographs, and you can get pictures with players or the cheerleaders, and you can even stand on the court for a few minutes, which my son loved, "Mom, I feel like a real basketball player!" (As he dribbled his ball!)
Before I finish up, I wanted to note that the end of the game is different from a regular basketball game. In the CEBL, the game doesn't end when the time runs out. There is a rule called Elam Ending or Target Score. When there are four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the next dead ball results in the clock being turned off. A target score is then set, which is, the leading team's score plus nine points. The game is over whenever the first team reaches the target score, which this game the Rattlers got the WIN!
Every game we have gone to has been a blast. The skill level of the players is incredible, and the game is exciting from start to finish. Whether you are a fan of the sport or not, check out a Rattlers Game this summer; it will not disappoint!