Soaking in the Sun

Mohegan Sun Arena Interior

OK, that’s a cheesy title, sorry about that. It’s not exactly true either as the trip was under a cloudy sky that felt like it was going to snow instead of rain (and it was close). But once we got inside Mohegan Sun, things were pretty good on this arena visit. First, it took a while to get out to SE CT thanks to the usual I-95 traffic. Our first stop was the Mashantucket Pequot Museum. Of things we visited this weekend, the Pequot Museum was at the top as I was really blown away by how it thoroughly represented the Pequot Tribe. We spent a fast-moving three hours here and the displays were wonderful, especially the re-creation of a village. It’s a sad conclusion with how the Pequot were nearly eliminated, but their rebound in the 1900s is remarkable. Highly recommend visiting if you are in the area.

Seeing the Pequot-owned Foxwoods would come later, but on Saturday evening we went across the Thames River to Mohegan Sun Casino, the home facility for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun. The Sun are rare not only because they play in a casino, but also because they are one of the few WNBA franchise’s not partnered with an NBA team. With Mohegan Sun just outside the door, the entertainment options are endless before and after the game in the wonderfully decorated casino. Restaurants are plentiful and really good as we ate at Michael Jordan’s 23.sportcafe beforehand.

Mohegan Sun Arena Concourse
Probably the nicest decor for a concourse that I have seen yet as they stay consistent with the Mohegan motif in the casino

I anxiously got to the box office to make sure tickets were still available and even though the Sun in multiple places made it seem like they were limited, there were a decent amount still available (and the team wasn’t exactly prompt as I dealt with two weeks of going back and forth through email). Strange since a couple thousand seats were available based on attendance figures, yet just single seats were offered in the lower bowl. That was the only negative in an otherwise great experience. The concourse decor matched the beautiful Mohegan Tribe inspired design of the casino, while the arena interior was a true, intimate basketball facility. Seats are somewhat tight, but there is not a bad view as the octagon shape and lack of suites waste little space for the general fan. I know that Connecticut has great fans of women’s basketball with the Huskies, but the Sun fans were equally impressive. It was an excellent crowd as I estimated the announced attendance of 7,672 was accurate and they were very into the game. Fans did more than just clap as they made enough noise to make it loud in the arena several times. Great stuff as the Sun began their quest for their first WNBA championship by starting the season with an 81-69 win over the New York Liberty. Also, kudos to the organization for donating ticket sales to the Oklahoma tornadoes relief. Overall, an excellent arena and great experience with the team. I’ll have a review of Mohegan Sun Arena up soon, along with a write-up at Stadium Journey.

As for the other two days in Southeast Connecticut, they were spent in the casinos and in the scenic (and touristy) town of Mystic. Casinos didn’t go well for me monetarily as I lost on both the tables and slots. Mystic was fun and I really enjoyed the Seaport. I didn’t even know what this was going to be before checking it out and we literally spent all day there, with just a brief break downtown for lunch. That lunch break was terrific as well as we watched the Memorial Day Parade while dining at Azu. Overall good trip and the next new stadium on the itinerary is PPL Park for the Philadelphia Union.

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