Roaming The Rinks

One hockey fan's journey to the arenas of North America

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FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 5

Posted by roamingtherinks on August 17, 2013 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 5 - Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of the Lebanon Valley College Flying Dutchmen

We place Hersheypark Arena on the countdown with a sense of mixed feelings.  We have feelings of thankfulness that we were able to attend and document a Lebanon Valley game at this fabled old barn, and are glad we were able to do so when their team was still at the NCAA level.  We also have feelings of satisfaction that we were able to attend a single Hershey Bears game in the early 90's in front of a sold out crowd at this simple, yet amazing arena.  Of course this took place before the concept of Roaming The Rinks was even thought of.  We do have feelings of sadness that the heyday of this arena is in the past now, and the opportunity to experience the building in its glory days when the Bears, and Hersheypark Arena, were minor league hockey is considered history now.  There aren't too many arenas in the world of hockey which would be worth a drive out of your way to simply walk inside and look around.  Hersheypark Arena is one on that short list.  Whether you have the opportunity to attend a game here, strap on the blades for public skating, or simply enter the building and gaze at the steep wooden seats or the championship banners from the 1940's, a trip to the old barn is worth it.  The fact that this icon of the glory days of hockey is still here for all to see, and for many to reflect on, give us feelings of comfort.  Had we experienced it more its prime,  this arena would possibly be higher on the list.  Long live Hersheypark Arena.   

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/hersheyparkarena.htm

                 



Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 6 - Frank Ritter Memorial Arena in Rochester, New York, home of the RIT Tigers

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/frankritterarena.htm

Arena # 7 - Herb Brooks Arena / 1980 Rink in Lake Placid, New York, home of the 2010 NCAA Division 3 Championship

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/herbbrooksarena.htm

Arena # 8 - Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines, Ontario, home of the Niagara IceDogs

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/jackgatecliff.htm

Arena # 9 - Galt Arena Gardens in Cambridge, Ontario, home of the Cambridge Winter Hawks

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/galtarenagardens.htm

Arena # 10 - Stade L.P. Gaucher in St.-Hyacinthe, Quebec, home of the St.-Hyacinthe Top Design

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/stadelpgaucher.htm

Arena # 11 - New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, outdoor home of the Syracuse Crunch

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/nystatefairgrounds.htm

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.      

 

FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 6

Posted by roamingtherinks on August 10, 2013 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 6 - Frank Ritter Memorial Arena in Rochester, New York, home of the RIT Tigers

Some arenas are considered classic due to their architecture.  Some are classics because they are the focal point of a given community.  Ritter Arena is a classic because of 2 words- "the fans".  You cannot attend a game here without losing your voice, nor can you do it without getting there before the doors open.  The place is standing room only for warmups, and the chants, cheers and heckles start then.  The fans known as the Corner Crew have a presence unlike any other in hockey, and they can get under the skin of opponents with their wit and their mastery of the word "suck".  We were there for a game during Christmas break and the pep band wasn't even there, and the atmosphere was still electric.  Ritter arena is being replaced after this season as its 2100 capacity is too small for the current hockey demand at RIT, so we suggest you take in a game here while you can.  Just rest your voice, prepare to get rowdy, and get ready for a great hockey experience.  The RIT fans certainly put the "fun" in the Fun Fifteen Arena Countdown.    

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/frankritterarena.htm  

                 



Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 7 - Herb Brooks Arena / 1980 Rink in Lake Placid, New York, home of the 2010 NCAA Division 3 Championship

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/herbbrooksarena.htm

Arena # 8 - Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines, Ontario, home of the Niagara IceDogs

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/jackgatecliff.htm

Arena # 9 - Galt Arena Gardens in Cambridge, Ontario, home of the Cambridge Winter Hawks

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/galtarenagardens.htm

Arena # 10 - Stade L.P. Gaucher in St.-Hyacinthe, Quebec, home of the St.-Hyacinthe Top Design

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/stadelpgaucher.htm

Arena # 11 - New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, outdoor home of the Syracuse Crunch

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/nystatefairgrounds.htm

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.     

FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 7

Posted by roamingtherinks on August 3, 2013 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 7 - Herb Brooks Arena / 1980 Rink in Lake Placid, New York, home of the 2010 NCAA Division 3 Championship

Certain venues in the world of sports are known for a longstanding tradition of community support and a storied past of having successful teams and famous players.  Herb Brooks Arena, and the town of Lake Placid, share a lot of history, having hosted the Olympics twice, but let's face it the town is know for "The Miracle".  Having an opportunity to watch a hockey game here is a privilege.  Watching a championship game here is priceless.  The sight lines may not be that great from the balcony, and we were never fans of the oversized ice, but this place has such an atmosphere of greatness, and a sense of connection to that one event in the past that it clearly makes our list of top arenas.  The charm that the entire town of Lake Placid exudes is also a great reason to make a visit here.  You may even be able to skate a couple laps on the speed skating track that saw Eric Heiden win 5 gold medals.  Check out one of the infrequent opportunities to see hockey here and you will not be dissapointed.  

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/herbbrooksarena.htm

                


Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 8 - Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines, Ontario, home of the Niagara IceDogs

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/jackgatecliff.htm

Arena # 9 - Galt Arena Gardens in Cambridge, Ontario, home of the Cambridge Winter Hawks

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/galtarenagardens.htm

Arena # 10 - Stade L.P. Gaucher in St.-Hyacinthe, Quebec, home of the St.-Hyacinthe Top Design

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/stadelpgaucher.htm

Arena # 11 - New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, outdoor home of the Syracuse Crunch

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/nystatefairgrounds.htm

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.     

FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 8

Posted by roamingtherinks on July 27, 2013 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 8 - Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines, Ontario, home of the Niagara IceDogs

Arena # 8 is a place that folks either love, or hate.  Jack Gatecliff Arena is the kind of old barn that has its own personality.  This 1930's era building is certainly not the most comfortable, nor are its exterior features something to marvel at.  It is, however, a classic place to watch hockey.  From its narrow upper concourse which is nearly impassable at intermission, to its 2-person wooden bench seats this place has "old time hockey" written all over it.  "The Jack" is simply a place where lage crowds can watch the IceDogs in a place that houses an electric atmosphere within its walls.  The IceDogs will be moving soon to a newly constructed arena in St. Catharines, so you should make plans to catch them play at Jack Gatecliff Arena while you can.  If you do you will understand why this arena is on the Fun Fifteen rankings. 

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/jackgatecliff.htm

                 



Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 9 - Galt Arena Gardens in Cambridge, Ontario, home of the Cambridge Winter Hawks

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/galtarenagardens.htm

Arena # 10 - Stade L.P. Gaucher in St.-Hyacinthe, Quebec, home of the St.-Hyacinthe Top Design

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/stadelpgaucher.htm

Arena # 11 - New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, outdoor home of the Syracuse Crunch

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/nystatefairgrounds.htm

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.


FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 9

Posted by roamingtherinks on July 20, 2013 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 9 - Galt Arena Gardens in Cambridge, Ontario, home of the Cambridge Winter Hawks

An arena which houses a Junior B team and has a capacity of less than 2,000 may not be near the top of your list of favorite arenas, unless you have had the pleasure of attending a game at Galt Arena Gardens.  If you have then you will understand.  Before there was a Maple Leaf Gardens, or even a Boston Garden, there was Galt Arena Gardens.  This ancient barn opened in 1922 and has been in operation since, making it the oldest continually operating ice arena in the world.  Although renovations have taken away the wooden seats Galt Arena Gardens is a great place to watch a game.  From entering into the arena through the amazingly preserved brick facade, to the fact that you can stand on the concourse and watch some hard working Junior players on the ice, then look over your shoulder to see a giant mural of Gordie Howe, who played Junior in Cambridge briefly, experiencing a game at Galt Arena Gardens is truly memorable. The vibe of this place is probably not a whole lot different that it was in the roaring '20's.  The fact that we got to attend this historic arena as part of a packed house for a playoff game was priceless.   

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/galtarenagardens.htm

                



Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 10 - Stade L.P. Gaucher in St.-Hyacinthe, Quebec, home of the St.-Hyacinthe Top Design

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/stadelpgaucher.htm

Arena # 11 - New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, outdoor home of the Syracuse Crunch

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/nystatefairgrounds.htm

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.

FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 10

Posted by roamingtherinks on July 13, 2013 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 10 - Stade L.P. Gaucher in St.-Hyacinthe, Quebec, home of the St.-Hyacinthe Top Design

For arena number 10 we go off the beaten path to an unheralded arena in Quebec.  This 1937 era gem was home of the St.- Hyacinthe Top Design of the LNAH and we were fortunate enough to experience it during the league's heyday.  From its classic art deco exterior to its creaky wooden floors and uncomfortable, yet colorful, wooden bench seats this place reaks of the spirit of hockey played in generations long since passed.  Throw in a few air horns, a bunch of rabid fight fans like you will only find in Quebec, and you have the recipe for a time warp like hockey experience.  This place is a classic representation of how the game used to be played in small towns in Quebec decades ago.  Though the LNAH has left town the LHJAAAQ now has a Junior A team in town, so you still have a chance to experience hockey at this classic barn.  You probably won't see five consecutive fights off of the opening faceoff like we did at the LNAH contest we attended though.  

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/stadelpgaucher.htm

                   



Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 11 - New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, outdoor home of the Syracuse Crunch

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/nystatefairgrounds.htm

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.

 

FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 11

Posted by roamingtherinks on July 6, 2013 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 11 - New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, outdoor home of the Syracuse Crunch

We've been to outdoor games at football and baseball stadiums, and the experience there is interesting and unique, but in a lot of cases is like trying to see what is going on in your neighbor's yard a few houses down the block, while standing on your own front porch, since the sight lines are usually poor and seats so far away from the ice.  Our first outdoor experience in the 'Cuse was certainly memorable and enjoyable enough to make the cut in the top 15.   There were a lot of drawbacks to the day, such as the huge traffic jam which delayed the game start, and the endless lines for the rest rooms, but overall the layout of the rink on the race track allowed for most of the seats to have a good enough vantage point to offer a viewing experience as close to a regular arena as you could possibly get with an outdoor game.  Add in the great buckets-off battle between Mirasty and Yablonski, the skydiver landing at center ice, and the (at that time) AHL record crowd of over 21,000 and you had a truly amazing atmosphere.  There may never be another game again at the New York State Fairgrounds, but we were glad we got to see the Outdoor Classic in 2010. 

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/nystatefairgrounds.htm

                


Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.


FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 12

Posted by roamingtherinks on June 28, 2013 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

When you think of Indiana, you think of auto racing, or even high school basketball.  You don't think of the state of Indiana as a "hockey hotbed".  If you've followed minor league hockey for any amount of time however, you would know that Fort Wayne is indeed a hockey town, and a damn good one at that.  The Komets have bounced around in different leagues since their founding in 1952.  The team is usually in the top 3 in attendance in all of minor league hockey, regardless of the league they are in, and that tradition can be almost tangibly felt if you take in a game at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, an arena which opened in 1952 as well.  From enormous size of the arena itself, to the fighter jet on the front lawn, to the thousands of fans donning orange and black team gear, taking in a game here is an experience in hockey tradition which will likely last for decades more.  This ongoing fan support and unchanged tradition; along with an arena with great sight lines, all put the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum solidly on the list.  

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

                    

Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.


FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 13

Posted by roamingtherinks on June 22, 2013 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

The next member of the FUN FIFTEEN is the amazing downtown arena in London, Ontario.  Now known as Budwesier Gardens, this 9100 capacity, mini-NHL style arena is packed every night.  We at RTR generally prefer older, more historic, smaller capacity buildings, but the JLC was certainly good enough to crack the list of our favorites.  Knights fans love their team and if you can scrounge up a ticket you are in for an amazing experience as a fan.  Seeing such large crowds for OHL hockey is exciting, and the arena also has enough quirks and nuances to make it not just a cookie-cutter 2000's era building.   From its unique facade on Dundas Street to its unarguable big-time event feel, The John Labatt Centre was a memorable stop on our journey.  This arena will also be hosting the 2014 Memorial Cup is anyone is looking for a late season road trip next year.

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

                    

Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.

FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 14

Posted by roamingtherinks on June 15, 2013 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

We go on our fair share of hockey road trips here at RTR, but Arena # 14 on the list features the place that we always come home to.  With the smallest market still standing in the minor league hockey, Elmira's First Arena provides a little glimpse of how hockey used to be in small towns in North America.  Local fans love their hockey, hate the refs, and heckle opposing goalies mercilessly.  First Arena is a simple building that fits well in the blue collar setting that is Elmira.  It may not be fancy, but the sight lines are great, seats close to the ice, and, when its 3,875 seats are full, First Arena is about the most intimidating place in the league for opposing players.  Throw in frequent appearances from high school pep bands to get the crowd fired up and you have the recipe for a unique hockey experience.  We are proud to call First Arena our home arena, and, although you may call its nomination to the list a "homer call", you will understand why if you catch a game here.  

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

                  

Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm

Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.


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