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Best Small Arenas


illwauk
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I prefer watching the Big East teams play in their on campus small arenas. Rather than watching them in an NBA team's arena. Like St. John's and Villanova. I don't know if Marquette or Georgetown have their own arenas. I hate watching Villanova and St. John's most because they don't even have their own court. They still have the NBA teams court with a little bit of extra paint to show the teams name. I saw a game saturday for St. Johns and it still had the New York Knicks logo at midcourt.

Both Marquette (Al McGuire Center) and Georgetown (McDonough Gymnasium) do. And both qualify for this thread, as the McGuire Center clocks in at 3,700 capacity and McDonough at about 2,500.

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I prefer watching the Big East teams play in their on campus small arenas. Rather than watching them in an NBA team's arena. Like St. John's and Villanova. I don't know if Marquette or Georgetown have their own arenas. I hate watching Villanova and St. John's most because they don't even have their own court. They still have the NBA teams court with a little bit of extra paint to show the teams name. I saw a game saturday for St. Johns and it still had the New York Knicks logo at midcourt.

Both Marquette (Al McGuire Center) and Georgetown (McDonough Gymnasium) do. And both qualify for this thread, as the McGuire Center clocks in at 3,700 capacity and McDonough at about 2,500.

I am going to date myself by saying that i remember watching Georgetown games at McDonough on TV back in the late 70s.

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Varsity Arena on the campus of the U of Toronto is easily the coolest place I've ever gotten to play.

DSC_0003-580x350.jpg

Yeah, I've caught a few games there in the past. It's a nice old barn.

Speaking of old barns, the McIntyre Arena up in Timmins:

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I played here at the provincials this past spring. Couldn't have asked for a better rink to close out my youth hockey career in.

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Matthews Arena at Northeastern University in Boston. Opened in 1910 as Boston Arena--original home of the Boston Bruins and one time home to to all the college hockey programs in Boston--it is the oldest indoor hockey arena in the US.

photo1.jpg

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Heavily renovated over the years, the arch from the original facade is the only recognizable exterior feature.

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MatthewsArenaExterior2009.jpg.

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Matthews Arena at Northeastern University in Boston. Opened in 1910 as Boston Arena--original home of the Boston Bruins and one time home to to all the college hockey programs in Boston--it is the oldest indoor hockey arena in the US.

photo1.jpg

05_02_010658_full.jpg

Heavily renovated over the years, the arch from the original facade is the only recognizable exterior feature.

Ironically, the end section of the old arena looks like a wall of luxury suites.

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I prefer watching the Big East teams play in their on campus small arenas. Rather than watching them in an NBA team's arena. Like St. John's and Villanova. I don't know if Marquette or Georgetown have their own arenas. I hate watching Villanova and St. John's most because they don't even have their own court. They still have the NBA teams court with a little bit of extra paint to show the teams name. I saw a game saturday for St. Johns and it still had the New York Knicks logo at midcourt.

Both Marquette (Al McGuire Center) and Georgetown (McDonough Gymnasium) do. And both qualify for this thread, as the McGuire Center clocks in at 3,700 capacity and McDonough at about 2,500.

Marquette has shared its building with the Bucks since the 1970s, but they've at least played on their own floor since the late 90s. I never understood why St. John's and Villanova couldn't do the same thing. I suppose I can see the point in St. John's wanting to emphasize that their team plays in the World's Most Famous Arena™, but there's really no reason a program like Villanova shouldn't have its own floor by now.

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  • 11 months later...

My pick for the best small arena would have to be Hersheypark Arena (formerly Hershey Sports Arena) in Hershey, PA.  Built in 1936 to replace the Ice Palace, it was home to the AHL Hershey Bears from 1936 to 2002, when they relocated to the new Giant Center.  It was designed by Anton Tedesco using the revolutionary Z-D Arch technology, allowing for unobstructed views from any seat.  When completed it was the largest monolithic concrete structure of its type in the world.  Still considered an engineering marvel, construction was started on the roof structure July 5, 1936, and the first hockey game was played December 19, 1936!

 

It is currently the home to Lebanon Valley College's Flying Dutchmen ice hockey team, and is used for various other events throughout the year.

 

I have visited many arenas over the years, but this old girl has always been my favorite!

 

Sorry only two pics, one of the outside (best I could find)(note the Ice Palace adjoining it to the right) and one from tonight's ACHA tournament hosted by LVC.

 

Hersheypark outside 3 (600x450).jpg

IMG_2195.JPG

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On 3/4/2015 at 9:57 PM, teddthebucfan said:

zSTxZhMh.jpg

Wheeling's WesBanco Arena. Renovated just this year to put in a video board on the scoreboard and smaller boards around the seating areas

 

Beat me to it. When I lived in the area, I loved going down there for games pre-renovation (2003-08, generally) both Nailers and Greyhounds indoor football. Loved the four-sided rectangle nature of it. No curved seating bowls. And the four platforms for each corner you could stand at the edge and look down at the ice/field.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/6/2014 at 11:27 PM, markapplelover said:

I'm so happy I found this thread and like-minded people who love smaller arenas. I find them so much more charming and think they are far better options for minor league basketball, than either the high school gyms they use or the oversized larger arenas. These pics are very cool, keep them coming.

Anyone know of a good resource for small arenas, maybe holding 1-4,000 people? Not having much luck.

 

more European in scope but there are some North American small arenas here:

http://www.hockeyarenas.net/

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Here's Aldrich Arena in Maplewood, MN. Hill Murray uses it as their home arena currently, while White Bear Lake used to use it. (Go Bears!) But the section 4AA finals of the State Tournament are held there every year. The game pictured I think was between Hill Murray and Stillwater. (I know that that's what Stillwater uniforms from a couple of years ago. And yes, that is a high school game...) Aldrich-banner.jpg

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On 2/19/2016 at 5:31 PM, mcj882000 said:

It's admittedly borderline, seating 10,500 for hockey and 14,000 for concerts, but I've always had an odd fondness for Atlantic City's 87-year old Boardwalk Hall:
Boardwalk_Hallaccvacrop.jpg
Boardwalk-Hall-45965.jpg

Imagine what that would look like if that stage wasn't there and the seats went all the way around.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Because of the Juno's (Canadian Music Awards) the Calgary Hitmen have to play game 4 and game 6 of their series at the Stampede Corral.

 

Corral_(web)long.jpg

 

corral-interior-ice-surface.jpg

 

Here's a write up from the Islanders who practiced there a couple years ago.

 

Side note, I think it's cool Calgary's old professional hockey rink is Corral and current one is Saddledome, not Arena or Centre or generic stadium name.

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