Entries in Basketball (3)
Given it was frigid outside, the Raptors tailgate party was a success.
Held outside the Air Canada Centre for the majority of Wednesday afternoon, the party saw a couple hundred fans — many ticket holders — indulge in:
Free poutine (the Raptors special was a carnivorous concoction of sausage, bacon and pulled pork)
Chili (about 700 pounds were consumed in 2 ½ hours)
“There is a lot more excitement in the air,” said Josh Samuel, a PhD student in theology at McMaster University. “Openers have a playoffs atmosphere.”
Everywhere you turn at the Greensboro Coliseum the parking lot is packed with people ready to party.
There's never a shortage of food, drinks and plenty of games.
But wait until you see the Labonte U.
"You might as well just live here for the weekend," said NC State fan Steve Mangum. "My truck hasn't moved an inch since Thursday morning and I haven't left the premises."
For more than 11 years now, a group of friends with ties to Terry Labonte Chevrolet has made a tradition out of camping at the coliseum.
For 2011, their five RVs form a 'U' and WFMY News 2 spotted them setting it up back on Tuesday. Forget the people who tailgate under tents. These folks have the tournament figured out.
"It's a great time, the tournament's a great time," said Mangum. "Greensboro does a great job putting everything together. I think we'd rather come here than any other venue for the ACC Tournament it's perfect."
And so is their setup.
We got a tour in and around their RVs early Saturday morning before the crowd or the grill fired up.
They can entertain as many as 125 fellow fans inside the U and Saturday's menu will probably make it a popular place.
"We're going to have chickens, lamb, salmon, that's to start," said Mangum.
The only thing better than the food or the setup might be the company.
Enemies inside the coliseum, red and Carolina blue mix well here in the U.
And the comraderie is why they keep coming back year after year.
"How could it get more perfect than that?"