30-30 Man

Monday, 10.29.2007 / 1:25 PM PT / Features
Share with your Friends

30-30 Man
Sunday night Williamson made Honda Center the third stop on his 30 Games in 30 Nights voyage.
By Matt Vevoda

Steve Williamson is in the midst of a hockey fan’s ultimate adventure.

Beginning Oct. 25 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Williamson began a 30-consecutive night quest that will take him to 30 NHL games in each of the 30 arenas. 

“I’m doing this just because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Williamson said during Sunday’s Ducks-Oilers game, the third stop on his itinerary. “I’m fortunate that I’m able to take a month off of work and my two sons are old enough that they’re not going to miss me when I’m gone. It’s just something that feels right to do. I’ m excited about the opportunity.”

The idea for this once-in-a-lifetime trip was spawned when Williamson was on a previous, yet smaller, trip to see hockey in person. 

While working in Osaka, Japan for Universal Studios in 2001, the Orlando native took an 11,000-mile roundtrip journey to watch his favorite team, Tampa Bay, play three West Coast games (at Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose) in four days.

Williamson is chronicling his quest through his website: www.30gamesin30nights.com.

“I thought that was a lot of fun, and wouldn’t it be great to be able to go see all 30 teams in one season,” said Williamson, who now heads up the promotions department at the Orlando Conventions and Visitors Bureau.  

“I thought about it for awhile and said I’m sure someone’s done that before, so I wonder if it would be possible to do 30 games in all 30 NHL arenas in 30 consecutive nights. I had the idea then, but the circumstances weren’t right until this year.”

After the 2007-08 NHL schedule was released, Williamson, having already decided this was the year to make the trip, concocted a plan that took into account, among other things, staying away from the colder winter months, getting into each city by 2 p.m. and backup plans if flights were to get cancelled. 

“I probably spent about 48 hours behind a computer trying to figure out how this could really work,” Williamson said. “I came up with a few different scenarios and this is the best one.”

Even while taking advantage of frequent flyer miles, accrued hotel points and friends providing tickets to select games, Williamson’s trip is still costly.

“It’s probably going to be in the area of seven to eight thousand. That doesn’t include food, but when I’m home I’m eating food anyway,” said Williamson, decked out in a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey with a big No. 30 on it. “It probably won’t cost me anymore than if I were to take my kids on a vacation for a week.” 

Upon arrival in Anaheim, only three days into the trip, Williamson said that so far he is not as tired as he thought he would be, although he figures at some point fatigue will set in.

“I don’t think it’s going to come from flying,” said Williamson, who used to fly 24 hours every couple of weeks while living in Japan. “I have a good body clock, it adjusts well. I don’t know when the fatigue will catch up with me. I’m sure it will but I’ll hang in there.” 

Much has changed for the Ducks since the last time Williamson stepped into the Honda Center in 2001. The team has new players, colors and owners, which coincide with championship banners that now hang above the arena.

“There’s no question about it, that when you win the Stanley Cup, it changes the whole feel of a place,” Williamson said. “You’ve got a happy crowd here. That’s the biggest difference I can tell.” 

While on his trip, Willamson is most looking forward to getting a chance to watch hockey in Canada. His first stop in the home of the game is Oct. 30 at Bell Centre in Montreal for a Canadiens game against Atlanta.

“I’ve never seen a hockey game up in Canada,” Williamson said. “With a lot of the players being Canadian, I get the sense that it’s going to be a whole new experience up there. I’m looking forward to that.” 

Growing up in England, Williamson took a liking to hockey from a young age, when his mother would take him to see his local team, the Wembley Lions in the 1960s.

“In those days there weren’t many fans and you could get right up close to the players,” Williamson said. “I think what got me was the speed of the game and that it’s a very physical sport.” 

In 1973, he and his family moved to the U.S., where he and his dad enjoyed season tickets to the New York Rangers for a few years. When hockey decided to come to Florida in 1992, Williamson, living in Orlando, was one of the first people in line for Lightning season tickets.

Having never learned to skate, Williamson, who has seen over 500 NHL games in his life thus far, sees a possible reasoning in his passion for hockey. 

“Perhaps I’m living vicariously through my deep-seeded dream to be a hockey player, which of course will never happen,” Williamson said.

The fondest hockey memories Williamson has is of his two favorite teams, the Rangers and the Lightning, each winning Stanley Cups. When his 30-day, 30-game excursion is complete, Williamson said it will rank right up there with those moments. 

“Having seen my two favorite teams win the Stanley Cup, I don’t know if you could bottle up that emotion,” Williamson said. “Certainly, when I come back to Tampa Bay on Nov. 24 (for the final game of the trip against New Jersey), after being on the road for 29 days, it’s going to be a sweet homecoming.”





1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56


2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
R. Getzlaf 16 2 18 6 20
C. Perry 16 10 8 6 18
J. Silfverberg 16 4 14 6 18
R. Kesler 16 7 6 2 13
P. Maroon 16 7 4 4 11
S. Vatanen 16 3 8 5 11
C. Fowler 16 2 8 5 10
H. Lindholm 16 2 8 2 10
M. Beleskey 16 8 1 -4 9
A. Cogliano 16 3 6 9 9
F. Andersen 11 5 3 .913 2.34

AnaheimDucks.com is the official Web site of the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim Ducks and AnaheimDucks.com are trademarks of Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy     Contact Us    Jobs     Honda Center    Corporate Partnerships   Terms of Use   NHL TicketExchange  Site Map AdChoices