It was cold and rainy Sunday night, but camping out for Game 6 tickets was well worth it for a group of Columbus Blue Jackets fans when they were surprised by a familiar face.
Columbus fans began camping outside Nationwide Arena a full 24 hours before tickets were set to go on sale for their first-round Stanley Cup playoff game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who could clinch the series with a win. The fans’ dedication was rewarded when Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson made a surprise appearance around 10 p.m. Sunday.
Atkinson’s girlfriend noticed that fans were lining up on Twitter, so the young winger and his father headed down to the stadium to show how much they appreciated the support.
According to NHL.com, Atkinson did just a little more than boost morale among the campers with his presence. He also cracked open his wallet and took out $400 to pay for the tickets for the first 10 people in line, in addition to presenting signed sticks to two fans.
“If they’re going to join the battle like we do, I might as well return the favor,” Atkinson said. “The fact that fans were going to camp out for tickets, I thought was pretty special. It was a cool moment.”
Check out some video of the loyal Columbus fans in the video below.