There’s been lots of discussions at Sports conferences I’ve attended over the past year about the issue of fans attending live sporting events vs. staying home to watch games due to advancements in technologies.

Some experts argue that more and more fans are preferring to stay home due to the excellent coverage provided by HD telecasts.   That is a valid point … so many sports, from NFL to MLB to this weekend’s coverage of the Masters … looks amazing on HD.  Also, the argument is made that more and more fans love watching sports on TV while also using their laptop, desktop or i-Pad.  That also is a valid point … more and more people are multi-tasking.   While watching sports, fans are also following their fantasy sports teams, interacting online with other friends, etc.

The sports fan who chooses to stay home also doesn’t have to deal with traffic, high parking costs, the obnoxiousness of drunk and rowdy fans.   Also, it’s not fun to watch Sports if your team is a so-so team playing in a half-empty arena.

But, on the other hand, there’s absolutely nothing as electrifying as being there to witness a live sporting event that can create a lifetime of memories.  Personally speaking, a couple of sports events stand out … being there to watch George Mason Univ upset UConn in ’06 to make it to the Final Four; watching Cal Ripken Jr break the all-time consecutive games mark at Oriole Park in ’95; watching Sergei Federov score the game-winning and series-winning goal for the Caps over the NY Rangers in ’09.   Unfortunately, I wasn’t there at Nats Park last June for Stephen Strasburg’s electrifying debut since I was on a flight to Tokyo.  But, my friends that were there claim it was an all-time highlight.

I’m blogging about this topic as the NHL Play-offs are about to start this evening.  Watching NHL action live is one of the greatest things to do in Sports … the game is so fast-paced and action-packed.  But, watching NHL playoff hockey takes it one more notch.  The fans definitely are louder.  It’s a fantastic atmosphere.  I won’t be there tonight for Game 1 of the Caps v Rangers series since I’m guest lecturing at AU tonight, but I’m so very much looking forward being there for Game 2 on Friday night at the Verizon Center.

If you have the chance to get a ticket to go to a NHL play-off game this Spring, go for it!  It beats being at home.  Let’s go, Caps!