Monster Jam will be in Orlando at the Citrus Bowl this weekend, but this past weekend, we had the opportunity to see Monster Jam in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, and it was quite the spectacle.
We got there early for the pit pass party, where you could meet the drivers, but there were so many people waiting in line that the kids decided they just wanted to play before the show started.
Gates opened at 5pm, and we were lucky to have received club seats to review the show. This meant we had a lounge area to relax in before the event started, as well as access to The Club Grill, where we grabbed a bite to eat. It was expensive, but at least the burger came with a toppings bar with items like chili, bacon, and liquid cheese.
Monster Jam officially started at 7pm with races between the monster trucks for points. The lap included some air-time, as the trucks launched off of a dirt hill. When all was said and done, Lucas Oil Crusader won the race part of the event.
In between the races, there were two small intermissions featuring the truck drivers racing on ATV’s. Madusa won the first one, but I didn’t catch who won the second.
Following the races, there was a lengthy intermission during which the track layout changed slightly. The inflatable race gates were taken down, and several painted cars were placed on the field as obstacles. The dirt hills were also added on to, so they would be bigger.
After the intermission, it was time for the freestyle round, and that’s where the real fun was, in my opinion. The trucks could use the entire course to do jumps, tricks, spins, and more. The more difficult the maneuver, the more points the driver got from the six judges. After the six scores were posted for each driver, the top and bottom scores were dropped for a final score.
Some drivers played it safe, but some went all out.
Madusa started off doing somewhat safe tricks and jumps, but then went all out and flipped the truck off a ramp in the back of the stadium, where we were. A-ma-zing.
MonsterMutt also tried to use the ramp to flip his truck, but he ended up landing on his roof and had to have the emergency team get him out. It was the second time he rolled, having done so during the race part of the event. But if you want the glory and the points, you have to go all out.
Some of the other drivers were getting serious air-time off the dirt ramps, one even managing to go vertical. Yikes! Others were so high in the air that I could see the crowd on the other side UNDER the vehicle.
The winner ended up being Hooked, who did some amazing two-wheel bouncing around the dirt hills before rolling the truck forward and somehow managing to end right side up. Unfortunately, his front axle took the brunt of the impact and was all akimbo as the truck was dragged off the track.
All in all, Monster Jam was a fun event full of thrills and major vehicle carnage. I’d say about half of the monster trucks ended up damaged and needing serious body work, including Grave Digger, who rolled his truck after less than a minute.
If this sounds like a fun evening out, Monster Jam will be in Orlando this weekend at the newly renovated Orlando Citrus Bowl on January 24. Tickets are still available starting at only $15 a seat. Buy tickets at Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800.745.3000 or at Ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit monsterjam.com.
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