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Best Small Arenas


illwauk
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Lately I've been researching small indoor arenas, and I have to say I find them much more interesting than typical NBA/NHL arenas; nearly all of which are basically the same on the inside except for the logo at midcourt/center ice. I'm particularly interested in arenas with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 or so, but for the purpose of this thread, let's qualify "small" as anything under 10,000.

Here are some of my favorites so far:

GCU Arena - Phoenix, AZ (5,000)

GCU-Arena-07-1.jpg

TD Arena - Charleston, SC (5,100)

venuesmag.jpg

SECU Arena - Towson, MD (5,200)

seating-bowl.jpg

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Lately I've been researching small indoor arenas, and I have to say I find them much more interesting than typical NBA/NHL arenas; nearly all of which are basically the same on the inside except for the logo at midcourt/center ice. I'm particularly interested in arenas with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 or so, but for the purpose of this thread, let's qualify "small" as anything under 10,000.

Here are some of my favorites so far:

GCU Arena - Phoenix, AZ

GCU-Arena-07-1.jpg

TD Arena - Charleston, SC

venuesmag.jpg

SECU Arena - Towson, MD

seating-bowl.jpg

What are the capacities of these??

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Cool thread idea.

My favorite place to play as a youth/high school hockey player was Hobart Arena in Troy, Ohio. It was an old 1940's era barn and you could feel the history as soon as you walked in. It had so much more character than the regular rinks and arenas we played in. They don't build them like this anymore.

card00178_fr.jpg

hobart_arena_134711.jpg

It was also the place where I got a ten minute misconduct penalty and my team played on public access TV so that was cool too.

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As a fan of a smaller conference team, I've been to my share of small (in fact, the 3 smallest in D1) and medium sized arenas.

Allow me to be a total homer and start out by posting Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, SC, capacity 6100. I think it's kind of different that the arena is built on a hill (no, that's not the hill the city is named after ^_^) so it just looks like the size of a 2 story building from outside... going in and down to your seat kind of gives you the sense that you're going underground.

coliseum1_zpscf042e50.jpg

coliseum2_zps9d5d80fd.png

Could use an update and remodel though. I really like the new open concourse-type arenas, like TD Arena in Charleston (actually never been there) posted earlier.

Other favorites:

Kimmel Arena in Asheville, NC (capacity 3,200) has a similar open concourse:

Kimmel.jpg

However, I kind of preferred UNCA's old arena, the Justice Center (capacity 1,100) - the interior (mainly the wooden ceiling) reminded me of a ski lodge.

justice_zps5813f17f.png

You could watch the game standing right above the basket:

ANDUZBUCYPWDWUE.20110104213021.jpg

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Ehh, it doesn't quite fit this thread because the total capacity is just over the limit (10,754), but it's the only really "small" arena I've ever been to.

Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, AZ. Home of Arizona State Sun Devils basketball.

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It's a nice little building to see a game in. It's cozy, yet it still has that big arena look to it.

It kinda suffers the same problem that Sun Devils Stadium does, though. It's just too damn big (in terms of seating capacity) for its purpose, and always ends up looking half empty.

And nice look at Cameron Indoor Stadium, McCarthy. I had NO IDEA that Duke played in such a small building. That's astonishing. It must be an absolute b***h to get tickets!

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If it counts, the John Labatt Centre in London (Ont) is probably the best major-junior rink around. Gotta love how they incorporated the façade of the prior building:

Resize-of-JohnLabattCentreresize.jpg

ohlarenaguide.com and qmjhlarenaguide.com are full of cool smallish arenas.

It was (sadly) renamed the Budweiser Gardens just before I moved. Hate the Knights, but love that rink.

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Cool thread idea.

My favorite place to play as a youth/high school hockey player was Hobart Arena in Troy, Ohio. It was an old 1940's era barn and you could feel the history as soon as you walked in. It had so much more character than the regular rinks and arenas we played in. They don't build them like this anymore.

card00178_fr.jpg

hobart_arena_134711.jpg

It was also the place where I got a ten minute misconduct penalty and my team played on public access TV so that was cool too.

I find it funny that this was mentioned. We were just down that way this past weekend for a go-kart swap meet in Dayton. My dad said back in the 90's they would come to Hobart for the swap meets. Wish it would've happened, would have loved to have seen it.

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Attending games in most OHL rinks has taken me to many small arenas. I will post a few of my favourites.

Windsor- WFCU Centre (6,500)

wdr-620-wfcu-exterior.jpg

wfcu_centre_3.jpg

I hate to seem like a homer for throwing in the hometown rink (the upcoming one), but I think that it is one of the nicest rinks in junior hockey.

Kitchener- Kitchener Memorial Auditorium (7,469)

The_Aud5547.jpg

Kitchener%20inside%202%20fixed.jpg

I know that this one was mentioned earlier, but I'll add a couple more picture.

London- Budweiser Gardens (9,100)

Pens-Report-London-Pics-002.jpg

hockey.jpg

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Gotta love the Pyramid. I love going to that place! Definitely one of the most unique arenas out there.

I had no idea Cameron Indoor was so small. It looks much bigger when it's full of fans on TV. I guess the same can be said for most of the arenas pictured though. They look as small as they are with nobody in them, but full of people in HD they look massive. Well massive for college or semi-pro anyway.

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Cool thread idea.

My favorite place to play as a youth/high school hockey player was Hobart Arena in Troy, Ohio. It was an old 1940's era barn and you could feel the history as soon as you walked in. It had so much more character than the regular rinks and arenas we played in. They don't build them like this anymore.

card00178_fr.jpg

hobart_arena_134711.jpg

It was also the place where I got a ten minute misconduct penalty and my team played on public access TV so that was cool too.

I find it funny that this was mentioned. We were just down that way this past weekend for a go-kart swap meet in Dayton. My dad said back in the 90's they would come to Hobart for the swap meets. Wish it would've happened, would have loved to have seen it.

Fun fact: The home team's penalty box is in the offensive zone so when exiting for your penalty you have to make sure you're not going to cause an offsides.

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Great topic.

I crossed the Palestra off of my bucket list back in around 1988 (before anyone had heard the term "bucket list"). Very cool place to watch a basketball game.

I want to get to a game at SECU Arena (and really have no excuse not to since it is 15-20 minutes from my house . . . and about 5 minutes from my office). My only gripe is that for a school of Towson's size, I think a 7,000-8,000 seat arena would have made more sense.

I will add Alumni Hall at the United States Naval Academy to the mix (capacity 5,710). It gets extra points for its very cool location along the water in Annapolis.

alumni-hall-program.jpg

yardair2.jpg

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