The Olympia in Detroit
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12-08-2012, 08:41 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
I miss the old buildings a lot. Everything had a feel to it. In a way it made sense to move to a bigger building. For example Maple Leaf Gardens was built in 1931. It was a classic. But it was small. It had smaller seats and once people got bigger you were almost in there like sardines. They had to modernize it. But those old rinks had character which is something the new ones lack. Even watching the game at home you knew you were watching the Forum on TV, or Maple Leaf Gardens or Boston Garden. Or the Spectrum for that matter. You could tell from the noticeable monuments and architecture which building it was. When a player had a breakaway you would see the top of the fans' heads when they stood up and it almost gave you the feeling of being right there.
Now, everything is so wooden and cookie cutter. The names change on the buildings more times than you can shake a stick at and almost every building looks the same. There aren't any buildings in the NHL today where you can say "Now THAT is a nice barn." They all look like that and in a way it has hurt the home ice advantage, I think.
Ironically, maybe Joe Louis Arena is the only building that still has some nostalgia attached to it and has a noticeable look to it if you are watching on TV. Honestly, that might be the only building left with that type of history since the Igloo is gone in Pittsburgh. I understand why the Igloo left, I was there, there was long lines for the bathrooms, limited bathrooms, not enough concession stands and so on and so forth. But you at least had the feeling that Mario Lemieux had played here, and that was special.
So it is at best a mixed blessing for these new buildings. I can understand to a certain point but they don't build anything unique anymore. Now, Yankee Stadium (the old one) that I had the privilege of going to did it totally wrong. They still had a great facility and yet they build one across the street that looks exactly the same? It didn't make sense. I was at the old one and you could feel Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle there. I don't know how to explain it but you could. Same with the old hockey arenas. But you can't with the new ones and we've lost something that way.
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