The Preds arena is nice and no frills, but nothing special. It feels like a purpose built hockey arena with no concern towards beauty and style (in the seating area). Nationwide in Columbus is a real gem. It's the best I've been too. It's beautiful, spacious, big, and luxurious. Now the team...
I'm curious as to how nice Montreal's arena is since I believe it seats more people than any other arena in the NHL at about 21,000.
By the way, it would help for people to list the city associated with the arena name so most of us actually know which team's arena you're talking about.
Well, I'm from Montreal, so I can give some input.
Seating: I have yet to have a bad seat, always right on top of the action. Sound system: Ear splitting... Sometimes really drowns out the fan noise which is a shame. Eating: Expensive, but probably just as expensive as anywhere else. Location: Train pulls right into it and pretty easy to access right off the highway. Parking ain't always pretty, however. Atmosphere: Great. Ticket prices: I've heard they were relatively low. Ice surface: Could be a lot better, IMO.
excell energy centre in minnisota looks phat :]
bell centre in montreal waz awsome from the out side it doesnt look like much but when you get inside "WOW" its soo nice, great environment, awsome hotdags, great visuals design and great view.
The Bell center is simply beautiful. I had the cheapest tickets in the highest bowl but I could still see the action very well. The interior was beautiful, colored, with entertainment in every sight. There were many concessions and good promotions going on too, it was a great experience. The seats were new and comfortable, and the place was rocking. Montreal.
I've also seen the Staples center, which is almost as good as the Bell center, the Saddledome, which, aside from it's unique exterior, is nothing special, Rectal place, which is pretty good. Not on the level of Staples or Bell, but definately a good arena; very loud (artificial crowd noise, eh ).
I've been to the ACC countless times, and other than that, the only other NHL arena I have been in for hockey is the Bell Centre (on a few occaisions).
The ACC is great....there isn't a bad seat in the house. It is a very "classy" arena, I guess you could say, all the frills and fancies, but with the outrageous ticket prices, I guess that's what you should expect.
Unfortunately, the "ritzy" feel of the building, means that the "ritzy" people get to see the games, leaving the most die-hard fans watching on TV or travelling to other cities for games. So, the atmosphere usually sucks.
As for the Bell Centre, it isn't too flashy or glamorous, but once you walk through the tunnel and into your seating section, it's great. Each time I've gone, the seats have been good. Also, everytime I've gone, it's been for Leafs/Habs, so the atmosphere was absoultely electric. There is no way I can describe it. Of course, having a building split 50/50 with fans of two teams does that. I can't comment on what the atmosphere is like for games against the Minnesotas and Floridas of the NHL (no offence to those teams).
One major difference between the ACC and the Bell Centre is the lighting. The ACC is much more brighter it seems. However, I don't see that as a good thing. Some people get caught up looking around and at different things. At the Bell Centre, it is quite dark over the seating, with the lights shining pretty much only on the ice. I think it is great, showing that indeed what is going on the ice is where the spotlight should be, and not the extracurriculars.
I think the ACC is a lot more appealing to the eye and is a perfectly designed/located facility, especially considering it's original drafts were to be a basketball-only stadium. I miss the Gardens like you wouldn't believe, but it is always a treat to see a game at the ACC as well. I get the same rush going to a game, regradless of where it's being played. That being said, of all hockey games I have seen in my lifetime, my favourite have all been Leafs/Habs at the Bell Centre.
As far as the ice surface, no-oine can beat Edmonton. I haven't been to any other arenas asides from the ACC though so I guess I can't have much imput towards other arenas.
In the new issue of Sports Illustrated (or was it ESPN? I don't remember) they ran an article about ice maintenance, and how one goes about switching between hockey and basketball setups.
They also talked about how NHL players fill out a form on the quality of the ice after the game--these are then entered into a database or what have you and scores are determined.
I expected Edmonton to be #1, because people talk about how fast it is, but they were actually further down on the list. St. Louis and someone else tied for the best ice, and Atlanta was the worst (Dallas and Pittsburgh had worse scores, but they had failed to turn in all required forms).