ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The White Sox have Blackhawks Fever, too.
But just like a number of Chicago fans, they’ve mostly been shut out in their efforts to acquire tickets for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, which is being played 17 miles away in Tampa, Fla. on Saturday night.
The White Sox play at 3:10 p.m. CST, which means it's feasible players could catch at least some of the 7 p.m. contest. Despite their efforts, only catcher Tyler Flowers has been able to secure a ticket to Amalie Arena. Before the series began, the Tampa Bay Lightning restricted ticket sales to Florida fans only, which has prevented a number of Blackhawks fans from attending — White Sox players included.
“I have one source left, but it probably doesn’t look good,” outfielder Adam Eaton said. “It’s tough to get, especially this close to it. And it probably comes at a pretty hefty price if we get it. We’ll see when it comes.
“It is what it is. Probably, I’ll go home and watch it on TV and hope for a win. We’re excited. You can still feel it. You walk around town, and you can tell people are here for hockey, and we’re excited to be able to watch them (Saturday).”
White Sox players and coaches have enjoyed the third potential Stanley Cup run by the Blackhawks. Several have said they love when the White Sox sound the horn for Blackhawks’ goals during their home games, which always received a roaring ovation from fans in attendance at U.S. Cellular Field.
“One day, hopefully soon, people do that for the White Sox,” White Sox bench coach Mark Parent said. “That gets the city going. Bulls and the Blackhawks, that really gets the city pumping. Doesn’t matter if you’re a Cubs fan or Sox fan, you’re those fans, that’s what's great about it.”
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Eaton said a fair number of players would probably get together to watch the game if they can’t attend. He also loves the energy of Blackhawks fans and Chicago sports fans in general.
“It’s something special to Chicago,” Eaton said. “It’s one of the reasons I signed here long-term is how the city rallies around their sports team.
“Guys will want to go watch it. I would say a good percentage of the team is going to be interested in the game. I’m pretty excited about the team, and we’ll hope for a win.”