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Bucket List – Hockey Arenas

Posted by Sean Rowland on February 16, 2017

MSG Exterior

MSG: Still bucket-list worthy, but it has lost some charm since recent renovations

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Here is Part 3 of my Bucket List for sports facilities as we turn the page to hockey. There are certainly not as many as what I had for basketball and football, but that is likely due to the lack of available college facilities worth seeing. Hockey is my favorite sport to see live and it is a shame the number of amazing venues that have disappeared (Maple Leaf Gardens, The Forum, Chicago Stadium, Hersheypark Arena). There are plenty of beautiful, new gleaming buildings, but if you want to enjoy a game like it was done in yesteryear, try visiting Kitchener or Fort Wayne.

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Air Canada Centre  – Toronto Maple Leafs:  Stuffy, corporate, lacking atmosphere…but it’s the Leafs. Worth seeing, plus the HHOF is just down the road
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Allen County War Memorial Arena – Fort Wayne Komets:  A great, old barn. Big and unique with very few like it nowadays
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Amsoil ArenaMinnesota-Duluth Bulldogs:  Remarkable new building that is done so well as every feature was completely thought over
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Bell Centre – Montreal Canadiens:  I am certainly not a fan of this cavernous arena, but the diehard fans make it a worthwhile trip
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Budweiser Gardens – London Knights:  Despite the arena name that feels so wrong, for London, ON, the Gardens is a beautiful building for hockey  
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Giant Center – Hershey Bears:  Best of everything in the AHL: Location, Fans and Arena
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Kitchener Memorial Auditorium – Kitchener Rangers:  Near the top of my list as they just don’t build them like this anymore
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Madison Square Garden – New York Rangers:  This was/is not the best place for hockey sightlines, but the aura and mystique of watching hockey in Midtown Manhattan makes it special. It is also quite loud compared to other NHL buildings
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Mariucci Arena – Minnesota Golden Gophers:  College Hockey at its finest 
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MTS Centre – Winnipeg Jets:  See Game 3 of their first playoff series since the return of the team. They were on their feet for icing calls!
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Matthews Arena – Northeastern Huskies:  Oldest hockey arena still in use. I am a huge fan of a second deck, even in small arenas. Makes for great sightlines
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Pengrowth Saddledome – Calgary Flames:  Last of the NHL’s unique arena designs
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Ralph Englestad Center – North Dakota Fighting Hawks:  Terrific place to watch a hockey game. I wonder if they removed all of the Sioux logos?
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Xcel Energy Center – Minnesota Wild:  Opened nearly 17 years ago and the final result is still what designers strive for
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