Hockey has some of the best arenas in sports today. There are many different traditions that go on in different arenas throughout the NHL. My goal one day is too visit every single arena in the NHL and while that will be very hard to do it is possible. If there is your goal too then this list will help you decide which ones are worth seeing first just in case you can't make it to every single arena in the NHL. So without further adieu here are the top 10 NHL arenas to visit before you die.
Now I know most people are probably thinking why would I want to go watch a hockey game in California where people only use ice to cool their drinks off. Well the Ducks have won the Stanley Cup in 2007 and have some great young players to watch. Also where else can you go to a game and watch a couple of drunk guys fight over Scott Niedermayer's stick when he was trying to give it to someone entirely different.
Hockey is finally back in St. Louis. After dwelling in the basement for the most part since the lockout the Blues made the playoffs for the first time last year. One of the best parts about the Scottrade Center is when the organ player plays "When the Saints Go Marching In" after every Blues goal. They also blast a foghorn after every goal getting the crowd into it. Probably the best part about visiting here is if the Blues score five goals or more you can go get a free Big Mac from McDonald's the next day by showing them your game ticket.
Now most people wouldn't really think about going to a hockey game in North Carolina. Like California there aren't many people who really play hockey here but the RBC Center is still a place to go to watch a hockey game. It is one of the newer arenas in the NHL. One of the coolest parts about the RBC Center is the Hurricane warning sign which is an actual air raid siren that is cranked during the beginning of every Canes home game.
I may be acting like a bit of a homer here putting the TD Garden on this list since I'm a Bruins fan but it is worth visiting. One of the coolest parts about this place is the way people get into it. The Garden is built on top of North Station and fans can take the orange line and green line right into the arena. The Garden also had the first HD entertainment board which people can watch in case they can't really see what's going on. This will never replace the old Boston Garden but it's still doing its best impression it can.
The Verizon center is located in Washinton D.C. You can go visit all the different monuments and then go take in a game. Plus they have arguably the best player in the game today in Alex Ovechkin. They also have their red out nights when all the fans where red which is something worth seeing and they are located in Chinatown so you can grab some Chinese food after the game.
MSG is one of the most famous arenas in the world often calling itself "The World's Most Famous Arena." There is just so much history here that one can't miss it. It has a couple of restaurants right inside the arena and there are plans for more renovations in the near future. MSG is a can't miss arena for hockey and any sport.
The United Center aka The UC is said to be the largest in physical size in the entire U.S. It acoustics system was designed so the noise in the arena could be as loud as any arena in the NHL and as loud as it was in the old Chicago Stadium. Probably the best part about the UC is during the singing of the National Anthem. Instead of staying quiet during it Blackhawks fans either join in or cheer as loud as they can creating one of the best atmosphere's in the NHL today.
Joe Louis Arena better known as "The Joe" is home to the Detroit Red Wings. It is one of only three arenas to not have a corporate sponsorship name. A Gordie Howe bronze statue sits right outside the "Gordie Howe Entrance" heading into the Stadium. The Joe also has one of the best playoff traditions in the game today. The annual throwing of an octopus onto the ice before every Red Wings home playoff game has been going on since the 1952 playoffs.
Minnesota is considered to be " The Hockey State" giving great reason to go see a game at the Xcel Energy Center. ESPN in 2004 named it the best overall sports venue in the U.S. The arena reflects the history of Minnesota hockey where on the concourse there is a jersey of every high school hockey team in Minnesota. There is also a lighthouse in one corner of the arena that blasts a foghorn after every Wild goal and after every win. This should definitely be high on your list of NHL arenas to visit.
the Montreal Canadiens have won the most Stanley Cups in the entire NHL. The arena is located in downtown Montreal and is connected to the underground city. The best part of the Bell Centre is Ring of Honour which was put in last year during the Habs centennial season. It is an exhibit with all of the Montreal Canadiens players and builders of the team that are currently in the NHL Hall of Fame. It is the largest stadium the NHL with a capacity of 21,273 and that gets filled easily every night. If there was ever an arena that you had to go to this would be it.