Photo by Anders Krøgh Jørgensen
NHL arenas are some of the best sports venues in the world
For some sports fans, the game isn’t the only reason to watch their favourite team play. With their vast interiors and fascinating architecture, the stadiums and arenas can often be just as exciting as seeing two of the biggest teams face each other. After all, watching hockey is about the whole experience, from the cheering crowd and messy hot dogs, to the huge buildings and queues for autographs. The stadium is the setting for some of the best memories a sports fan can have.
It is no wonder that many fans want to see as many arenas as they possibly can. So, if your bucket list adventure is to visit your favorite sports arenas, check out these top tips to get started. Provided you steer clear of the usual tourist traps, you’ll have the time of your life!
1. Planning in advance
The best way to start off your NHL tour is to plan well ahead in advance, especially if you’re going to visit all 30 stadiums in one trip. For a trip of this size, you will probably need to set aside a couple of months at the least. Not many of us can get more than two weeks’ vacation at one time, so if you’re desperate to do all 30 stadiums at once, try to coincide your trip with a change in career or after graduating from college. This way you can visit each arena without too much time pressure, which is a great way to be able to take it all in!
However, if you’re going to use your vacation time to visit the stadiums, you need a foolproof plan of attack to ensure that you see as many stadiums as you can in the precious holiday time that you have. Grab a map and work out which stadiums are closest, then see if you can work out a viable road trip that includes as many of the arenas as possible. This is a great way to divide your bucket list adventure up into smaller segments while still achieving your ultimate aim.
Matthews Arena, Boston
2. Save money
Whether you’re doing your trip in small stages or you’re planning on doing it all in one go, making sure that you have enough money is the main objective. Live sporting events can cost a lot of cash to attend, so it’s worth trying to save money wherever you can. Look for free or cheap parking to avoid hefty parking charges – it may mean a hike to the arena, but it will be much easier on your wallet. Rather than racking up lots of expensive hotel fees, look at couch surfing websites or ask to stay with friends if you happen to know anyone local.
You may also want to think about your seating options when you watch the game. Maybe the best seats in the house aren’t an absolutely essential purchase for every arena! Look at sitting in the upper bowl to save a bit of extra cash, you might not have the best view but at least you can tick the arena off your list!
3. Make the most of your experience
If you want to catch a game during your visit, the best times to go to the arenas are during the preseason in September, during the 82-game regular season beginning in October, or the Stanley Cup finals in June, which is when the favorite teams of the season compete to lift the trophy. Of course, you can also take a tour around the arenas out of season as well, this way you get to really appreciate the vastness of the spaces without a huge crowd blocking the view.
Check out the other attractions that come as part of the stadium. You could take advantage of a tour around the arena, have your autograph book signed by players, or take a selfie next to one of the famous player statues.
However you choose to spend your NHL arena tour, be sure to make fun your top priority.