Our lives are defined by the accumulation of our experiences, both good and bad. This past weekend I had the opportunity to add a notch to the “good” column as far as experiences go! It was one of those moments that will be the answer to a “where were you when?” question. Last week I told you that the Marriott & NBA teamed up to bring us the 2015-2016 NBA Global Games and as part of that promotion, I was going to attend the Toronto Raptors game against the Minnesota Timberwolves here in Ottawa. This promotion was just one example of the benefits of being a Marriott Rewards member.
Let me set the scene. We drove to the arena with the radio dialed on to the Toronto Blue Jays game and listened in the car as they went down 3-2 to Texas. We assumed that we would miss the last couple innings but were pleasantly surprised to find out that the Marriott had gone all out and reserved a luxury suite for us to watch the Raptors game from. With the game tied and two men on base in the bottom of the 7th inning, Jose Bautista walked up to the plate.
Everyone in the suite gathered around the TV while in the background a woman began to sing the US National Anthem before the start of the basketball game. As if it were scripted, Bautista then hit one of the biggest home runs in Canadian baseball history, which included the greatest bat flip of all time, and the suite went wild! Silently wild, that is. Wanting to respect the anthem singer we all jumped up and down, high fiving each other but not making a sound. As soon as the anthem finished, the suite and all of those around the building let out our bottled up emotion in what must have been the loudest cheers for an American anthem in a Canadian arena in the history of anthems!
All of this happened within 20 minutes of us arriving at the arena! I still had the excitement of seeing my first NBA game ahead of me and although the Raptors lost it right at the end, the atmosphere in the arena was electric from start to finish and it was nothing like what I expected it to be, in the best possible way. If that weren’t enough, we also got the opportunity to meet NBA legend Chauncey Billups, who came up to the suite for photos and to sign autographs for us. Check it out!
You’d think that would be a great way to end the night but we were also invited to the post game reception where we had the chance to pose with the NBA’s Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy and I had the incredible opportunity to meet Canadian basketball star Andrew Wiggins, who posed (with permission) for this very awkward but still awesome photo!
It was truly an amazing night and one that this sports fan will never forget. If this is what you can expect out of being a Marriott Rewards member, I’m not sure what you all are waiting for… Montreal is the next date on the NBA Canada Series and if you are interested you can get tickets here! It probably wouldn’t hurt to stop by Twitter to say hello to @MarriottRewards and their newest member, @DeltaHotelsLTD!