NHL Arenas: The Final Four

Collin CooperCorrespondent IMay 20, 2009

DETROIT - MAY 19:  Fans of the Detroit Red Wings celebrate after they won 3-2 in overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks during Game Two of the Western Conference Championship Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 19, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

With hockey down to its final four, we delve into the four arenas that are left. While all the teams left are worthy of reaching this far in the quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup, the places they call home are completely different animals. One is historical, one is the oldest, one huge, and one state of the art.
Opened 1961 at a cost of $22 million
Nickname: The Igloo
Hockey Capacity: 16,940
Size: 420,000 Square ft
Luxury Suites: 52
Average ‘08-‘09 Home attendance: 16,975 (102.6 percent)
Best place to go before the game: South Side (East Carson street)
Most Unique Concession: None. Tip: Eat a Primanti Bros. sandwich before you go into the game!
    Our Take: This arena featured the first ever retractable roof, making it…extremely old, the oldest in the NHL. Penguins fans have been as good as any in the NHL since the arrival of Sid. Thankfully, Mellon Arena will be replaced by the Consol Center across the street in 2010.
    Opened 1994 at a cost of $175 million
    Nicknames: The Madhouse on Madison II, The House that Jordan Built
    Hockey Capacity: 20,500
    Size: 960,000 Square ft
    Luxury Suites: 160
    Average ‘08-’09 Home Attendance: 22,247 (111.2 percent)
    Best Place to go before the game: Not much in the immediate arena. If visiting Chicago, hit up the Loop or Mag Mile.
    Most Unique Concession: Hot Italian Beef sandwich
      Our Take: For such a great town, developers chose to plop this huge arena in a rather barren neighborhood. The United Center offers plenty of clubs and places to eat. A nice touch is their re-creation of the old Chicago Stadium organ.
      Opened 1979 at a cost of $57 million
      Nickname: The Joe
      Hockey Capacity: 20,066
      Luxury Suites: 86
      Average ‘08-’09 Home Attendance: 19,865 (99.0 percent)
      Best Place to go before the game: Hockey-town Cafe or Greektown
      Most Unique Concession: The Red Winger Daiquiri
        Our Take: The home of Hockeytown USA, the Joe is as tough as any place to win on the road. With the departure of many of the great NHL facilities, this is as historic as hockey arenas get. The JLA is starting to show its age a bit, one single concourse and busy bathrooms need updating.
        Opened 1999 at a cost of $158 million
        Nickname: None
        Hockey Capacity: 18,680
        Luxury Suites: 75
        Average ‘08-’09 Home Attendance: 16,572 (88.5 percent)
        Best Place to go before the game: College bars around NC State
        Most Unique Concession: North Carolina BBQ Company
          Our Take: The Hurricanes share this with NC State. For being relatively new to hockey, Carolina fans are pretty knowledgeable. The food selection is pretty good, which makes up for the lack of things to do around the arena. The RBC Center logo is one of the best in the business.
          Posted in NHL