Ahh, the smell of fresh popcorn! Or is that the smell of a flooded trough in the men’s washroom? Regardless, each NHL arena has something unique. Below I have ranked all 30 arenas based on biased critera such as overall atmosphere this season, building amenities, and concessions.
Here we go!
(1) Bell Centre – Montreal. Largest capacity in NHL and is filled every night. Best overall atmosphere.
(2) Rexall Place – Edmonton. Small, but cozy confines. Goosebumps when the crowd belts out the National Anthem.
(3) Pengrowth Saddledome – Calgary. The rushed seating in the “Playoff Zone” upper deck is what being fan friendly is all about.
(4) Xcel Energy Center – Minnesota. Can see all the action from the concession stands. Filled to the brim every night despite a team that traps the entire game.
(5) Madison Square Garden – New York Rangers. How can you not love “The Mecca”?
(6) General Motors Place – Vancouver. Notorious bandwagon fans are back on the wagon this year. Or is it off the wagon?
(7) United Center – Chicago. Huge capacity arena finally selling out. I guess televising home games wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
(8) Joe Louis Arena – Detroit. The “oldest newest rink” has no actual upper deck. Having just two bowls make the sightlines great throughout.
(9) Wachovia Center – Philadelphia. Tough as nails fans. Beautiful rink a stone’s throw away from where the Phillies and Eagles play.
(10) TD Banknorth Garden – Boston. Situated in the heart of Beantown, the fans are finally back!
(11) American Airlines Center – Dallas. Fans always standing during OT is cool.
(12) Verizon Center – Washington. Rockin’ the Red all season.
(13) Staples Center – Los Angeles. Any rink with Alan Thicke in attendance has got to be good.
(14) HP Pavilion – San Jose. The Tank is always full.
(15) Nationwide Arena – Columbus. Non-traditional hockey market finally showing that fans care about this team.
(16) Honda Center – Anaheim. Marble flooring throughout is classy.
(17) Air Canada Centre – Toronto. Always sold out, but too corporoate.
(18) Scotiabank Place – Ottawa. Fans didn’t show up consistently when this team was in the running for a President’s Trophy, so why start now?
(19) HSBC Arena – Buffalo. Nice rink, but in the middle of nowhere. At least they’re not bankrupt.
(20) Mellon Arena – Pittsburgh. Outdated facility.
(21) Prudential Center – New Jersey. New rink, but still not enough fans attend despite team success.
(22) RBC Center – Carolina. At least they have the Caniac Cheerleaders.
(23) St. Pete Times Forum – Tampa Bay. Is this newspaper still in circulation?
(24) Pepsi Center – Colorado. Sellout streak since the team moved from Quebec finally ended.
(25) Scottrade Center – St. Louis. According to Illegal Curve’s sources, the $10 hot dogs are a must.
(26) Sommet Center – Nashville. The only thing they’ve got going on is their mascot “Gnash”.
(27) BankAtlantic Center – Florida. The only fans that go are ex-Montreals who live in Del Boca Vista. Bring back those rats. Let’s see if people show up for the playoffs.
(28) Philips Arena – Atlanta. Nice facility, but no one goes/cares.
(29) Jobing.com Arena – Phoenix. Where?
(30) Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum – NY Islanders. This place is a dump.