San Jose Sharks – Bay Area NHL Hockey

Get your game on Bay Area hockey fans!

Hockey fans tend to be a passionate bunch and if they happen to live in the Bay Area or are visiting, there is only one place to go to see professional hockey: the Shark Tank, otherwise known as SAP Center in San Jose. Since the San Jose Sharks joined the National Hockey League as an expansion team in 1991, Bay Area hockey fans have had a place to call their own. Even if you don’t know an off-sides call from a two-minute minor penalty, there’s no better way to enjoy the speed and finesse of this sport than seeing it live. There is no atmosphere in professional sports quite like a professional hockey game.

Die-hard fans usually sit silently with rapt attention to the non-stop action on the ice, afraid to miss a skilled player deke a goalie out of position and score or a fracas between two players behind the play. Their vigil is punctuated with the occasional multisyllabic outburst when a goal is scored, a member of the opposing team takes liberties with a Sharks player or an ill-timed penalty is called. Despite their silence and focus, hockey fans tend to be a generous, good-natured bunch and will answer questions about the game from seatmates who are unfamiliar with the nuances of the game. This is especially true if you happen to buy an extra beer by accident during the first period. If you want to see a professional game live at SAP Center or another NHL arena, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Wait for a whistle! If you must move during the game, kindly wait until play is stopped. Things happen very quickly during a hockey game and if you stand up and make fans move while the puck is in play, you will likely be the target of a multisyllabic outburst from more than one fan.
  • If you have seats in the lower bowl, pay attention to the game. Pucks are made of hard vulcanized rubber and often sail over the glass and into the crowd. If you’re paying more attention to your drink or your smartphone than you are to the game, you may get a very painful reminder and a trip to the emergency room for stitches. This is not a rare occurrence.
  • If you’re unfamiliar with hockey, tune into the radio broadcast. The rules of hockey are based on a lot of if/then scenarios and can be difficult to understand initially. If you want to get the most out your experience and learn about the game, listening to the broadcasters explain the calls and what just happened on the ice is very helpful.

If you want to head down to San Jose to see the Sharks or watch your team play them at the Shark Tank, your best bet is the drive or take public transportation. The SAP Center is located at 525 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose, which is close to Interstates 880 and 280 and Route 87. For directions from your location, the Center has a very helpful web page at, which will give you step-by-step directions. Tickets prices vary quite a bit, depending on your preferred location and proximity to the ice, but your best bet to see the plays develop is from the upper balcony, which is where the most knowledgeable and engaged fans sit and prices are much more affordable.

For more information and a game schedule of when the Sharks play, visit If you’ve never been to an NHL game, then you should definitely head down to San Jose and check one out! If you’re a longtime NHL fan visiting the Bay Area, try to time your visit when your team is playing the Sharks. There’s no atmosphere like a live hockey game and when the Shark Tank starts rocking, it is famous for turning casual fans into hardcore fanatics!

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