Following the success of the timeless underdog tale of youth hockey, “The Mighty Ducks,” the Anaheim Ducks were founded as a hockey club by The Walt Disney Company in 1993. These hometown heroes give visitors and locals alike a reason to bundle up and gather round the ice for a taste of winter sports here in Southern California.
The team was originally known as The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, but after Disney sold it to inventor, businessman and philanthropist Henry Samueli in 2005, the name has since simplified to the Anaheim Ducks.
Over the years, the uniforms have changed from those similar to what the plucky kids wore in the “Mighty Ducks” movie to orange and black, signifying that the Ducks are Orange County’s official hockey team. When you come to see a game, you’d better wear some orange with pride.
The Ducks have made it to the NHL playoffs over a dozen times, bringing the Stanley Cup home in 2007. It was in this historic season that the Ducks played their 1,000th game as a franchise and scored their 1,000th goal. Throughout the team’s history, Hockey Hall of Famers like Scott Niedermayer, Paul Kariya and the ”The Finnish Flash” Teemu Selanne have each made their mark on the team.
On the Ice
The Ducks play at the Honda Center, which on hockey nights becomes the Duck Pond. The crowd is worked into a frenzy with the help of Wild Wing, the Ducks’ daredevil mascot. Fans have perfected their duck calls over the seasons and are always ready for a “quack attack” when the team needs that extra morale boost. When a goal is scored the whole stadium starts rocking to “Bro Hymn” by Southern California punk icons, Pennywise.
For a luxurious experience, snap some day passes to the Shock Top Terrace. This members-only lounge and bar pairs gourmet rink fare like California-style pizza with citrusy, ice-cold Shock Top beer.
Off the Ice
Of course, the best place to catch a game is right over the ice, but if you can’t make it, there are many local venues that show every game where patrons can cheer with the spirit of a true Mighty Duck. Tilted Kilt is right down the street from the Honda Center and features TVs at all angles, dozens of beers on tap and the Kilt Girls cheering along at every goal. The Auld Dubliner features Irish hospitality, lip-smacking pub grub, as well as a giant 125-inch projector screen to show Duck games.
The Ducks will soon be sharing their home! ocV!BE, a $3 billion, 115-acre, mixed-use community and live entertainment district, is coming to Anaheim. An endeavor of the Samueli Family (owners of the Ducks), this sustainable and transit-oriented district is scheduled to open in 2024 and be fully completed by the 2028 Olympics when Honda Center hosts indoor volleyball.
No matter where you see a game, you’re in for some excitement, and if you cheer for the Ducks, you’ll be adopted as an Orange County local.
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