Monster Jam at Ricoh Arena

Disclosure: We were given press tickets for this event for the purpose of this blog.

On Saturday morning we drove over to Coventry to go and see some very big and very loud monster trucks do some pretty incredible things… and get very muddy in the process!

We were invited along to check out the Monster Jam show, and the Pit Party beforehand – the girls were really excited to see the giant trucks and meet the drivers. We took along Georgie’s best friend Lily for the day out too, so we had three eager little girls on our hands who weren’t going to let the rain stop them enjoying their day out.

Our day started with the Pit Party which was held in one of the car parks directly outside the arena. Unfortunately it was absolutely chucking it down with rain so there wasn’t a lot going on outside – just the trucks parked up which you could look at and take photos of.

Once the girls had ooh-ed and aah-ed at all of the giant monster trucks we headed inside, where the organisers had moved some of the Pit Party activity into the dry. It took a bit of queuing in the rain to get in, but the girls got to meet some of the drivers and have their photos taken with them, as well as checking out some of the motorcross bikes.

Lydia and Lily even got interviewed for Sky Kids tv, which Lydia is still buzzing about.

After we’d grabbed some lunch it was time to find our seats and get ready for the show to begin! The rain finally stopped with a few hours to go so the diggers & prep team were hard at work laying fresh dirt down over the mud, and marking out the course. It was fascinating watching them do the set up, and the crowds were entertained with interviews with the drivers and an introduction to Monster Jam.

Soon enough it was time for the show to begin! We absolutely loved it. The minute the trucks came roaring out of the tunnel into the arena the kids were bouncing with excitement and we were all absolutely wowed by the noise and the speed as they raced around the arena floor.

The show was split into four competitions, with an overall winner at the end. First up was racing, followed by donuts, then a two wheel skills challenge, and then freestyle.

Apart from the racing, the winners for each of the categories were decided by popular vote, which I found really clever, and the girls got really into doing. We had to go to a specific URL on our smartphones, enter in a code, and then we were given 20 seconds after each truck ‘performed’ to enter a score out of 10 (we could score in .25 increments). The overall score was then tallied and displayed, with lots of whoops and groans from the crowd.

During the racing, two trucks at a time took to the course, which included going flying over a ramp and taking a few tight corners. The winners of the quarter finals went up against each other in the semis, and so on, until Max-D (Neil Elliott) took the lead in the final race. It was really entertaining to watch and we were all cheering on our favourites.

Next up were the donuts, which we loved watching, and were definitely a crowd favourite. The conditions in the arena, which has an open roof, were very wet so mud was splattering out everywhere as the trucks span around in tight circles. El Toro Loco won the vote with his donuts which came complete with smoke effects – plus the truck was up on two wheels by the time it stopped spinning around!

There was a bit of an interval at this point, after which we were well entertained by a team of motor cross bikers who did some amazing stunts as they flew through the air.

The two wheels skills challenge section was probably the most challenging for the drivers due to the slick conditions, but there were some pretty impressive wheelies, and Morgan Kane in Grave Digger won the vote for this one as he travelled a fair distance with his truck almost vertical.

Max-D flipped out during his attempt, and the truck had to be turned back over and removed from the arena with heavy machinery.

Finally came the freestyle portion of the competition, where each driver had two minutes to wow the crowd with their driving skills, using as many of the ramps as they could. There were an impressive amount of jumps, a handful of donuts, and a lot of mud flying around the arena! The Max-D truck reappeared for his freestyle performance – minus the outer body shell which had been pretty destroyed earlier on.

Todd LeDuc in Monster Energy attempted a backflip as his final trick after an impressive series of stunts, but unfortunately didn’t quite stick the landing, and his truck ended up on it’s roof… where it remained until the end of the show, as there were only a few drivers left to go. His impressive freestyle performance did win him the category though, so the crowd definitely seemed to appreciate the attempt.

Max-D won first place overall, however, with 27 points, followed by Grave Digger on 24 and Monster Energy on 23. Our favourite, Wonder Woman, came in fifth with 13 points – but Haley definitely gave us some pretty awe-inspiring moments.

Max-D

Although hampered by the slick conditions, it was still a really impressive show. Our stadiums in the UK are quite a bit smaller than the US so the trucks were more limited with their space than in their home country, but they were still able to do some breathtaking stunts. Most importantly, both the drivers and the crowd seemed to have a great time, and I know we did too. We’d definitely go again, given the chance.

Here is our vlog with some Pit Party shots, and some highlights from the show:

The full line-up:

  • ZombieTM (Alx Danielsson)
  • EarthShaker® (Peter Nyman)
  • Monster Energy® (Todd LeDuc)
  • Wonder Woman (Haley Gauley)
  • Max-DTM (Neil Elliott)
  • El Toro Loco® (Mark List)
  • Megalodon® (Alex Blackwell)
  • Grave Digger® (Morgan Kane)

View the full results over on the Monster Jam website.

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