10 Biggest NHL Arenas

Posted on 22 Dec, 2015, by in NHL

Surprisingly, of the 10 biggest arenas in the NHL, only three share it with an NBA team from the same city. Four of the arenas are in Canada (Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Senators, Flames) and three others are in Northern US states (Blackhawks, Wild, Red Wings). St. Paul in Minnesota is the most Western city in the top 10 from South of the border.

* The capacity numbers include standing room

10th: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary Flames

Scotiabank Saddledome

The Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary has a capacity of 19,289 since 1995, and has been the home of the Flames since 1983, while they’ve been in Calgary since 1980, moving there from Atlanta. At it’s peak it could be filled with over 20,000 fans, but the massive renovations of the mid 90’s added some luxury seats while taking away some of the “size” of the arena. It also hosted Ice Hockey and Figure Skating in the 1988 Olympics. It opened as the Olympic Saddledome in 1983, and has gone on to have various names until getting to the current one in 2010.

9th: Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota Wild

Xcel Energy Center

Also known as the X or The Hive, it has a capacity of 19,893. However,  21,609 fans attended the 2015 State Boys’ Hockey Tournament Class AA semifinals at Xcel Energy Center, setting a new record for the largest crowd to ever attend an indoor hockey game in the state of Minnesota in March of 2015. The St. Paul arena also hosted the box Lacrosse team Minnesota Swarm until they relocated to Georgia.

8th: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit Red Wings

Joe Louis Arena

Exactly 20,027 is the official capacity of the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, home of the Red Wings since 1979, who also shared it with the Detroit Pistons for a brief period in the 1980’s. It replaced the Detroit Olympia, which is where the Red Wings used to play from 1927. In 2017 it’s supposed to be replaced by a new arena in downtown Detroit, and then demolished.

7th: Scottrade Center, St. Louis Blues

Image: Source

Image: Source

With a capacity of 20,082, the Scottrade Center in St. Louis has been home to the St. Louis Blues since 1995, among other minor sports teams and the MVC basketball tournament. In 2018, it will host the SEC basketball tournament for the first time. It was known as the Kiel Center initially (1994-2000) and then as the Savvis Center until 2006.

6th: Air Canada Centre, Toronto Maple Leafs

Air Canada Centre

The ACC has been the home of both the Maple Leafs and the Raptors since 1999, and has a capacity of 20,270 for hockey games. Air Canada purchased the naming rights for 20 years since the opening for $30 million. It brought a lot of new concepts to arena planning and building, including luxury suites accessible on the ground floor, splitting the main scoreboard into several sections, rotating all sponsor signage in the bowl at once (to allow dominant messaging), and multiple restaurants in and out of the main arena bowl view.

5th: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia Flyers

Wells Fargo Center

Opened in 1996, the Wells Fargo Center, which is also the home of the NBA’s 76ers, has a capacity of 20,327 for hockey games. That is also its record attendance, from game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, which the Flyers lost to the Chicago Blackhawks. Previous sponsors were CoreStates, First Union and Wachovia, before Wells Fargo bought the naming rights in 2010.

4th: Canadian Tire Center, Ottawa Senators

Canadian Tire Centre

The arena previously known as the Palladium, Corel Centre and Scotiabank Place has a capacity of 20,510, and has been the home of the Senators since 1996. Of the several notable events in the arena’s history, maybe it’s most known for being the place where Wayne Gretzky played his final Canadian-soil NHL game back in April of 1999.

3rd: BB&T Center, Florida Panthers

BB&T Center

The BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida has a capacity of 20,741 and has been the home of the Panthers since 1998, who played during the first years of existence in the now-demolished Miami-Arena, sharing it with the Miami Heat of the NBA. Its previous names are: Broward County Civic Arena (before getting a sponsor), National Car Rental Center, Office Depot Center and BankAtlantic Center.

2nd: Centre Bell, Montreal Canadiens

Centre Bell

The Hockey capacity of the arena is 21,288. Open since 1996, it’s been the home of the Canadiens ever since. In 2012, it was the fifth-busiest arena in the world based on ticket sales for non-sporting events, with the Molson Family, the team and arena owners, doing its best to keep it busy.

1st: United Center, Chicago Blackhawks

United Center

The United Center, which is also the home of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls, has a capacity of 22,428 for hockey games, and has been the home of the Blackhawks since 1995. It’s been open since 1994, but the lockout of the 1994-1995 season postponed their home debut. The ownership of the stadium is split 50-50 between the Bulls and the Blackhawks.

Images: Source