Roaming The Rinks

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

Roaming The Rinks Blog


Posted by roamingtherinks on August 30, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Arena # 3 - Kitchener Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener, Ontario, home of the Kitchener Rangers

We have read on other websites how the Aud in Kitchener is "the best arena in the OHL".  This naturally raises our expectations when you hear such high accolades, and often leads to disappointment when you actually experience the venue.  Simply put, Kitchener Memorial Auditorium is all of that and more.  Experiencing a game here, with its nearly always sold out crowds and passionate fans who are here to watch the game and cheer for the Rangers, rather than drink or socialize, makes for about as pure of a hockey fan experience as you will find.  The building does not have one feature that stands out.  It is not the newest, nor the oldest.  It is not the biggest, nor the most intimate.  The Aud simply has all of the intangibles that make it an incredible place to watch a hockey game.  If you wanted to take someone to one arena in their life to experience how hockey should be you would be safe if you took them to Kitchener.  Although they have added additional seating since our visit this place should still be on a "Must See" list for any hockey fan who has not had the pleasure of seeing the Rangers take to the ice here.  

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  


Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 4 - Arena Jacques Plante in Shawinigan, Quebec, home of the Shawinigan Cataractes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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