Sports fans have an exciting season ahead as the NHL campaign speeds towards a gripping climax. Ice hockey is one of the most popular sports in the world. The top teams enjoy a global fanbase with supporters from America, Canada, Great Britain and France, among those tuning into the live TV coverage of matches. Many enjoy gambling on the outcome of fixtures, including Stanley Cup betting.
Another favourite of those with a passion for NHL is to visit each major stadium at least once. Either on game night to soak up the atmosphere of the NHL playoffs, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with like-minded fans, or even just as a tourist. Do the stadium tour, visiting the trophy room, hoping to meet the stars of the team.
In this article, we detail the five must-visit stadiums for any sports fan, particularly NHL lovers. The arenas are impressive in themselves but get yourself along on game night, and you’ll witness one of the most spectacular atmospheres in sports.
Bell Centre – Montreal
The Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada, is famous as the biggest NHL stadium in terms of capacity. With a full house of spectators, the arena can hold over 21,000, which puts others in the shade. Opened in 1996, it is the current home of the Montreal Canadians but has also hosted other major sporting events over the years, including basketball and MMA. The venue is easy to get to, serviced by the Montreal Metro and several busses. The Bell Centre is one of the world’s busiest venues and ranks fifth in the world for ticket sales for non-sporting events.
United Center – Chicago
Second on our list of NHL venues to visit is the world-famous United Center in Chicago, USA. It is known as the home stadium of the Chicago Blackhawks and has been since 1995. With a seating capacity of over 19,700, America’s largest NHL venue often pulls in a capacity crowd as fans cheer on the Blackhawks to victory.
The Illinois stadium is worth a visit, even if you’re not that big on ice hockey. In the past, it has hosted concerts and basketball matches. The capacity for concerts rises to 23,500 due to the standing areas. It took two years to build, unveiled in 1994 at a construction cost of 300 million dollars. The venue has been upgraded several times and was expanded in 2017.
Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia
Another entry from the United States and the Wells Fargo Center pulls in millions of visitors every year, and they’re not all sports fans either. Home to the NHL team, the Philadelphia Flyers, since 1996, it has a seating capacity of over 19,500, making it the third-largest in terms of capacity in the National Hockey League. You may be familiar with the Wells Fargo Center as it has staged basketball and arena football as well as other notable events.
Wells Fargo took over two years to construct and cost over 200m dollars. It’s an impressive sight, from outside or inside the arena, and many come to marvel at the venue when in town. Many thousands of international sports fans travel to Philadelphia every year and have Wells Fargo at the top of their to-do list.
Little Caesars Arena – Detroit
Home of the Detroit Red Wings NHL team, Little Caesars Arena was opened in 2017 with a capacity of over 19,000. The arena cost more than 900m dollars to construct in today’s money, making it one of the most valuable events arenas in the world. Over the years, it has hosted basketball matches and several famous concerts.
Little Caesars has many eye-catching features, but the clear plastic roof on the concourse has visitors in awe. Part of the sports and entertainment district, it’s surrounded by offices, residential blocks and retail outlets.
Scotiabank Saddledome – Calgary
Completing our list of the top-five NHL venues to visit is the second Canadian entry. It holds more than 19,200 fans and is a shared home area, hosting both the Calgary Flames and the Calgary Hitmen.
The venue can be reached by CTrain light rail. Interestingly, Saddledome’s name comes from the stadium’s roof, which is des igned to look like a horse’s saddle. If you ever find yourself in Calgary, on vacation or business, pay this one a visit.