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#1 NATIONWIDE ARENA
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
This newer arena in downtown Columbus is the anchor for the emerging Arena District, already burgeoning with
shops, restaurants and hotels. The venue is spectacular, from its nostalgic brick and stone veneer to its sweeping
concourses with blue mood lighting and modern amenities. The arena bowl has state of the art scoreboards and
surround LED graphics boards which look 21st century high tech. With a separate practice rink built right in the
facility, theme restaurants and great food selection, not to mention a raucous hockey atmosphere, this NHL venue
is a must see!
Arc- 8.5, Food-9, Scbd-6, Ush-7, Fans-7.5, Loc-9.5, Bann-3, Ent-8, Conc-8, Bonus-7 Total: 73.5
#2 XCEL ENERGY CENTER
ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA
This place is a hockey arena, plain and simple. Being located in America's hockey hotbed state, this arena is full of
symbols and memorabilia which personifies the role that hockey plays in the culture of the state. For example once
inside the seating area you will see an organ that looks like a zamboni. When a Wild player scores a goal a
flashing light goes off in the mold of a lighthouse, a symbol of Minnesota's naval history in the Great Lakes. When
walking the concourses, get a gander at the display of all the high school jerseys in the state. Similar to Conseco
Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, this building takes full advantage of the state's strong history and takes it to the hilt!
Arc- 8.5, Food-6.5, Scbd-8.5, Ush-7, Fans-9, Loc-6, Bann-2.5, Ent-7, Conc-9, Bonus-7 Total: 71
#4 AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER
Great concessions and grand architecture more fitting to a concert hall than a sports arena await you at the
"Hangar". Located near the "West End" entertainment district. Plenty of places to grab a drink here, be sure to check
out the Dr. Pepper memorabilia on the upper level...a tried and true Texas institution!! Message to Starsfan from us
Sabres fans: NO GOAL!!!
Arc- 9, Food-8.5, Scbd-9, Ush-5, Fans-8, Loc-6.5, Bann-4.5, Ent-7, Conc-8.5, Bonus-4 Total: 70
#5 FIRST NIAGARA CENTER
BUFFALO, NEW YORK
Yes our home arena here in Buffalo gets the nod as one of the great NHL venues. The building is located right
downtown near the waterfront, and you walk into a gigantic glass pavilion connected to HarborCenter and the red
hot Canalside neighborhood. The concourses and Headlines sports bar in the pavilion are full of great Buffalo
sports memorabilia. Surround ribbon boards have given the seating bowl a fresh new look.
Arc- 8, Food-7, Scbd-4.5, Ush-8, Fans-6, Loc-6, Bann-8, Ent-7, Conc-7, Bonus-8 Total: 69.5
#6 WELLS FARGO CENTER
Superior design elements include a cigar store and microbrewery, a TV studio for Comcast built right into the
concourse, a deluge of interactive displays and games, a seating bowl that is pleasing to the eye, and fan
amenities galore to make your day here memorable. Flyers fans fill this place and are pretty intimidating to boot...
all adds to the festive atmosphere. Easily one of the premier NHL experiences.
Arc- 7, Food-8, Scbd-7, Ush-5, Fans-8, Loc-4, Bann-8, Ent-5, Conc-8, Bonus-9 Total: 69
#7 SCOTTRADE CENTER
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
ST. LOUIS BLUES
Do you bleed Blue? The Scottrade Center sure does! The colors of the Blues franchise are found everywhere, and
we mean EVERYWHERE, in this building. Tributes to Blues heroes can be found wherever you look, and fan
amenities include restaurants at each level of the arena. Vibrant downtown setting and attractions all within walking
distance. Easy to see why St. Louis was once named "Best Sports City" in America.
Arc- 6, Food-8, Scbd-5, Ush-6, Fans-8, Loc-8, Bann-9, Ent-5, Conc-7, Bonus-6 Total: 68
#8 SCOTIABANK SADDLEDOME
They renovated this place in the mid 90's and for once we were impressed. Had a great time for Hockey Night in
Canada. Unique saddle shaped roof, energetic and raucous fans and wonderful hockey tradition. Set in the world
renowned Calgary Stampede Park near downtown YEEE-HAWW! EH?
Arc- 8, Food-6, Scbd-5, Ush-5, Fans-10, Loc-6, Bann-8, Ent-9, Conc-5, Bonus-5 Total: 67
#9 AIR CANADA CENTRE
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
When Maple Leaf Gardens was replaced, we thought that no way would the Leafs be able to replicate the
atmosphere and tradition of that great temple to hockey. Well, we were wrong! The Air Canada Centre has all the
modern amenities of today's NHL arena, yet the old photos and mementoes of their icons were brought over here,
and even the seating color scheme bears a likeness to the Gardens.
Arc- 7, Food-6, Scbd-7, Ush-6, Fans-10, Loc-7, Bann-8.5, Ent-6, Conc-4.5, Bonus-4 Total: 66
#10 PEPSI CENTER
We visited here during the Stanley Cup Finals and what a time we had. A stupendous lobby awaits your arrival at
the entrance.The wonderful diversity of concessions was amazing as we had a hard time finding ordinary ballpark
dreck. This is the NHL's hottest ticket, and tickets are hard to come by so don't pass up the chance to go if you're
lucky enough to get in the building.
Arc- 7, Food-8.5, Scbd-6, Ush-6, Fans-9, Loc-5, Bann-5, Ent-8, Conc-7, Bonus-3 Total: 64.5
t #11 ROGERS ARENA
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Getting from lower to upper level is an atrocious chore, we're sure the fire marshal just winked and saw nothing
when this place went up. A brewery at all levels here, not bad. Superb downtown location with a bustling
international city beckoning right outside.
Arc- 7, Food-6, Scbd-7, Ush-6, Fans-7, Loc-6, Bann-6, Ent-8, Conc-6, Bonus-5 Total: 64
t #13 LE CENTRE BELL
Not the greatest of new venues here, with over 21,000 seats way too big, lax enforcement of the no smoking policy
and very congested concourses. Great downtown location near Ste. Catherine St. And 24 Stanley Cup banners and
11 retired icons of hockey make this place. Best of all it's Mont Re`al , a city like no other. Magnifique!!
Arc- 5, Food-4, Scbd-6, Ush-7, Fans-8, Loc-7.5, Bann-10, Ent-6, Conc-4, Bonus-6 Total: 63.5
t #13 VERIZON CENTER
A privately funded venue in this day and age of taxpayer built arenas. Adjacent to Chinatown, the main marquee is in
English and Chinese. Parking sparse, subway access nearby, and lots of DC attractions and restaurants within
Arc- 6, Food-5, Scbd-6, Ush-6, Fans-4, Loc-9.5, Bann-8, Ent-5, Conc-7, Bonus-7 Total: 63.5
#16 TD GARDEN
Set atop the North Station and built next to the old Boston Gardens, streets around here are congested and the
mess from the "Big Dig" is taking years to clean up. Real nice New England Sports Museum rings the entire club
level concourse. Otherwise, about the most plain jane new facility we've seen.
Arc- 4.5, Food-6, Scbd-5.5, Ush-6, Fans-6, Loc-6, Bann-10, Ent-4, Conc-5, Bonus-7.5 Total: 60.5
#17 MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
NEW YORK RANGERS
This might be the oldest arena in the NHL, but still the most elegant, set atop Penn Station and near the sights and
sounds of bustling mid-town Manhattan. With old time organ, banners of all the greats hanging in the rafters, here
too you feel a sense of history and tradition for one of the "Original Six".
Arc- 7, Food-4, Scbd-4.5, Ush-7, Fans-8, Loc-9, Bann-8, Ent-4.5, Conc-6, Bonus-2 Total: 60
#18 CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE
Great building, but why did they build it 20 miles out of town next to a Home Depot? Still worth a harrowing 4 hour
drive through a blizzard to get to, as we learned. Plenty of pubs and restaurants right in the building, and you will be
treated to the singing of "Oh Canada" by Constable Lyndon Slewidge, the best national anthem rendition in the four
Arc- 6, Food-7, Scbd-6, Ush-5, Fans-7, Loc-1.5, Bann-8, Ent-7, Conc-7, Bonus-4.5 Total: 59
t #19 UNITED CENTER
When they play the national anthem everyone stands and cheers wildly. That sets the stage for a special hockey
experience at the United Center, which is a beautiful venue and full of displays and interactive things to do in the
bright and wide concourses. The menu selection and variety of restaurants in this arena is very diverse.
Arc- 7, Food-6, Scbd-7, Ush-6, Fans-5.5, Loc-2, Bann-8, Ent-6, Conc-7, Bonus-4 Total: 58.5
t #19 STAPLES CENTER
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
LOS ANGELES KINGS
Glitz, glamour, glorious. 400 mil spent and yet being SoCal, some of the nastiest "customer service" people in the
biz. But look beyond the rude game day staff and enjoy the splendid concourses, atriums bathed in soft purple light,
and massive seating bowl. And hey, as we saw on a video clip we learned that at least South Park's Eric Cartman
is a fan.
Arc- 8.5, Food-7, Scbd-8, Ush-1, Fans-5, Loc-7, Bann-7, Ent-7, Conc-6, Bonus-2 Total: 58.5
t #19 GILA RIVER ARENA
Another nice new arena that mimics design elements from its successful peer venues. The venue is the
centerpiece of an exciting new multi-use development called Westgate, condos, retail and entertainment in a
splendid and colorful setting. Props to the team for providing FREE parking for its patrons, along with the Devil
Rays unique in the four major sports.
Arc- 4, Food-7.5, Scbd-8, Ush-1.5, Fans-4.5, Loc-4, Bann-6, Ent-7, Conc-7, Bonus-9 Total: 58.5
#22 SAP CENTER
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA
SAN JOSE SHARKS
Sleek looking newer venue on the edge of a shiny and clean downtown San Jose. A pleasant, brightly lit arena with
plenty of walking space in the concourses. Good selection of restaurants and eateries in easy walking distance.
Plenty of high tech ads to be found in the seating bowl, here in the epicenter of Silicon Valley.
Arc- 7, Food-7, Scbd-3, Ush-5, Fans-5.5, Loc-6.5, Bann-5, Ent-7, Conc-9, Bonus-3 Total: 58
#23 BRIDGESTONE ARENA
Might deserve a higher rating, but we were here the evening immediately following the Bills/Titans Music City
"Forward Lateral", so that explains our foul mood. Nice bustling downtown site, great atrium lobby, but weird
asymmetrical seating bowl makes this place look a bit off.
Arc- 8, Food-5, Scbd-5, Ush-5, Fans-6, Loc-9, Bann-3, Ent-6, Conc-6, Bonus-4 Total: 57
#24 REXALL PLACE
Five Stanley Cups in 7 Years, yet good luck finding a photo of the glory years anywhere in the concourses. Even
without the amenities, great fan support here and a wonderful energy in the building. Worth the travel to see it.
Arc- 4, Food-6, Scbd-4, Ush-7.5, Fans-8.5, Loc-3.5, Bann-4, Ent-7.5, Conc-3, Bonus-8 Total: 56
#25 PNC ARENA
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
Wolfpack fieldhouse or Hurricanes rink? We couldn't tell. Arena is located near expressways, office park and
college football stadium. Very brightly lit seating area, we guess that's so you can see all the empty red seats in the
Arc- 5, Food-6.5, Scbd-5, Ush-7, Fans-2, Loc-3.5, Bann-6, Ent-6, Conc-8, Bonus-5 Total: 54
#26 AMALIE ARENA
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
New ownership has put big bucks into upgrades and improvements, and the results run the gamut from the
opulence of the premium XO Club to the eyesore of open gaps of insulation alongside the escalators. New hotels,
Florida Aquarium and nice restaurants all nearby.
Arc- 6.5, Food-7, Scbd-4, Ush-7, Fans-5, Loc-7.5, Bann-4, Ent-3, Conc-4.5, Bonus-5 Total: 53.5
#29 BB&T CENTER
This place is gorgeous! Right from the parking lot, adorned with lush landscaping, colored pavement and mood
lighting to the arena itself, with carpeted and marble tiled concourses, attractive food courts, and theme restaurants
makes this a venue to check out. But poor fan support, cheesy banners and lousy location merit deductions.
Arc- 6.5, Food-8, Scbd-4, Ush-4, Fans-4, Loc-4, Bann-1, Ent-7, Conc-8.5, Bonus-4 Total: 51
#3 CONSOL ENERGY CENTER
Pittsburgh now has it all - three great venues to house their sports teams, and Consol Energy Center doesn't miss
the mark, with 21st century virtual displays of their Stanley Cups and great players hitting you as soon as you walk
in the lobby. Nice touches heralding their Steel City heirtage, lots of good food choices, and 18,087 seat capacity,
the 87 commemorating Side the Kid.
Arc- 7.5 , Food- 8, Scbd- 7, Ush- 7, Fans- 8, Loc- 5, Bann- 9, Ent- 7, Conc- 6, Bonus- 6 Total: 70.5
#28 JOE LOUIS ARENA
Keep your change and other loose items handy so you don't set off the metal detectors at the entrances, no we're
not kidding. A team like the Red Wings with their tradition and history deserves to have a better place than this pile
of trash to call home. Scary part of downtown, ugly building, but do check out the Hockeytown Cafe, near the
ballpark about a mile away.
Arc- 1, Food-6, Scbd-3.5, Ush-5.5, Fans-10, Loc-2, Bann-10, Ent-5.5, Conc-3, Bonus-5 Total: 51.5
#30 HONDA CENTER
Wonderfully landscaped outside, marble tiled walls inside, and a so-so seating area, nonetheless an elegant and
very functional arena. Decidedly upscale city outside LA and close to Angels Stadium and Disneyland attractions.
Arc- 8, Food-6, Scbd-4, Ush-3, Fans-4.5, Loc-4, Bann-5, Ent-6, Conc-8, Bonus-2 Total: 50.5
#27 BARCLAYS CENTER
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
What absolutely sinks this venue in these rankings is the horrid configuration of seating in the bowl, with
thousands of obstructed view seats and many more poorly lined up for comfortable viewing. It's a pretty snazzy
venue from the outside but not planned out well at all for NHL hockey. They left the Island for THIS?
Arc-8.5 , Food-9, Scbd-6.5, Ush-5, Fans-3, Loc-7, Bann-9, Ent-2, Conc-1, Bonus-2 Total: 53
t #11 PRUDENTIAL CENTER
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
Don't let the gritty rough and tumble reputation of Newark fool you. "The Rock" shines like a pretty penny on the
downtown scene here, with a huge video LED board on the facade which can be seen miles away. Inside, the
concourses are replete with dramatic murals and sports art, history of the franchise across three markets, and
jerseys of every high school hockey team in the state. Their team isn't too bad either.
Arc- 8, Food-7, Scbd-6, Ush-8, Fans-2.5, Loc-3, Bann-8.5, Ent-7, Conc-9, Bonus-5 Total: 64
Arc- Location and architecture
Food- Concessions and team store
Scbd- Scoreboard and electronics
Ush-Ushers and game day staff
Fans- Fan enthusiasm and support
Bann- Retired numbers, banners
Ent- Event presentation
Conc - Fan comfort and concourses
Bonus- Extra bonus point
#15 MTS CENTRE
Winnipeg has their hockey team back, and folks here have responded by selling out every available seat, and
excitement for the Jets is at a fever pitch everyone one goes in this city. The MTS Centre, opened in 2004, is
smallish by NHL standards, but that makes for a loud and intimate venue, with eateries in the arena, and more
accessible closeby via an elaborate system of skybridges. It gets cold here in the dead of winter, so bundle up if
you make the trek here.
Arc- 7 , Food- 8, Scbd- 4, Ush- 7.5, Fans- 10, Loc- 8.5, Bann- 4, Ent- 6, Conc- 3, Bonus- 4 Total: 62