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moose97
01-12-2011, 07:07 PM
From what I've seen this year, the rinks at Miami, Bemidji State and Denver are all outstanding facilities. Add Minnesota and Wisconsin as well. The only problem with Omaha and Ohio State is that the buildings far outsize their programs. I've also always liked Michigan Tech. Great sightlines and with the recent renovations have really been a plus.

I might make it through the Oxford area this summer, and if I do, I've wanted to check out the Miami rink for a long time...

I also think that the poster that earlier said that BSU's new rink puts it on par with Mankato hasn't been there yet. The seating bowl looks plain, but the club/suite level is fantastic, and the behind the scenes "BSU area" is as nice as any I've seen.

I haven't been to Houghton in a long time, but I can imagine what could be done with the kind of money they put into that place.

I hope to add Amsoil to my list of rinks visited this Friday. I'm quite anxious to see how BSU's Sanford Center compares...

jmh
01-13-2011, 11:44 AM
What's the complaint about parking at Conte? Granted, somebody mentioned getting to the campus on a Friday evening can be tough but the actual parking situation once you're there is probably one of best around. There's a seven story garage only steps from the building and it's free. How is that an issue?I don't know exactly what the complaint was, it just seemed to me that there had been one and I felt it to be somewhat extraneous. (I've never been to Conte so I don't know what the parking there is like.)
"Best rink" means something different to everyone. To me, it means the best place to experience the game, and in any sport the experience is most meaningful when it has historical context. For this reason, every NHL game I watched in the Boston Garden was a better experience than any game at the Fleet Center (or whatever it's called now) because everybody was up close to the ice and there were no suits taking up prime space in luxury boxes, Orr and Bourque played there, all the great Habs teams got heckled there, the stands always shook after big goals, people were swearing and boozing yet my parents brought me as a kid, etc. No thanks to the increase in the amount of money involved in sports, few great historical stadiums are left (in major league baseball, probably the most historical american sport, there are only two) but college hockey is lucky to have several -- Yost, Lynah and Matthews in particular, followed by Gutterson, Alfond and The Whale (that I've seen). I'd rather watch one game in old Mariucci, old Engelstad, Walter Brown or the DU Fieldhouse than ten games in new Mariucci, new Engelstad, Agannis or Magness -- to me, the old rinks and atmospheres are the college hockey experience and luxury boxes and leather seats have no place, donate them to the NBA or something I don't even want to see them. If the level of play on the ice were equal, I'd rather watch a game at Starr Rink or Meahan Auditorium than the Kohl Center -- the one game I saw at Kohl many people were more interested in watching a bowl game on all the televisions. Largely for this reason I oppose College Hockey Inc.'s mission and don't care to see the game expand. Expansion at the expense of the traditions of the game isn't worth it and the old barns are traditions. Please no more new rinks (Penn State, build a throwback).Man, I was with you right up until you mentioned Starr Rink, which is a craphole. Old does not automatically equal good. I'd happily go back to Appleton (if I were ever in the area) and Baker and would love to go see Matthews and Yost sometime, but I have no desire to ever go back to Starr.
Baker at Princeton and Yost at Michigan have the best traditionUmmm... the Hobey shrine is cool, but as far as I can tell the main "tradition" at Baker is that the fans show up late and don't make any noise. Oh, and that the band wears straw hats and only sometimes shows up to games.
While both of these definitely USED to be true, they aren't anymore. I've been to at least a dozen Cornell games in the last 8 years and I haven't heard a single innovative cheer that wasn't developed back in the Mike Schafer playing days or earlier with the exception of Hey Baby, which was still from the late 90s.

It's also decreased in intimidation factor a lot in recent years, which I attribute to the new developments in student section ticket disbursment. "The Line" was eliminated and so people who only cared a little got tickets and some of the more rabid fans got screwed hardcore. They've also had a huge crackdown on offensive behavior and cursing which has quieted the place down quite a bit as well. When I first saw a game there in 2004 it was unreal. While my perceptions have most definitely changed since then, I bet Cornell fans will agree - it's not the same anymore.This is a debate that friends and I have on occasion. Inevitably it comes up when we hear some cheer that isn't the same as it used to be, and we get all "BAH! YOU KIDS STOP CHANGING THOSE CHEERS AND GET OFF MY LAWN!" Then we talk about it for a while and generally conclude that they're not really any worse than we used to be, they're just different. For what it's worth, I think the crackdowns on language etc. at Lynah (most recently because Schafer felt that some of the language being used wasn't appropriate for his young children to hear) are cyclical and don't really have much effect in the long run - it's just a repeating sine wave, periodically getting more profane and cleaner and more profane again.

SteveF
01-13-2011, 02:11 PM
i think the parking complaint at conte is probably about the single lane (or one way) roads that get to most of the spots - it basically makes anyone late to the game who isn't anticipating it properly.

Puck Swami
01-13-2011, 03:29 PM
I love history and tradition more than most people do. There is something magical about playing a game in the same place that players 50, 75 or even 100 years ago did. These buildings make magical memories because while the players may change, the uniforms, fight songs, cheers and sightlines connect old and new in the tapestry of time and tradition. Even as we age and our memories get less sharp over time, there is still something very special about older buildings that connecs us to sense of a time and place. Maybe you came with your dad and sat up close as a kid, or in the student section when you were a student or you sit today in your own spot as a season ticket holder. You are a part of that time span, and your program's heritage.

That said, good recruits almost always prefer new and modern to old and charming. There is usually a direct correlation between modern arena investment and program quality. In other words, most top teams have made the arena investment to attract good players, as it is a tangible committment to the sport by the school.

There is also the reality that some facilities age better than others. For example, Yost Ice Arena is worth keeping, because even as a 1923 fieldhouse, it had plenty of charm as a hockey arena, sightlines are great and the sound echoes well to make a true home ice advantage when filled with 6500 Wolvie zealots. It is the Wrigley Field of college hockey arenas.

DU Arena, however, was a surplus WWII Drill Hall in Idaho before it became a hockey arena in the late 40s. While it had character in spades, it never had charm and the amenities were awful and the place was falling apart after 30 years, let alone 50 years. I don't think very many DU fans miss the place at all today. If DU arena were a ballpark, it would be Tiger Stadium or Cleveland Municipal Stadium, lots of character and history, but low on charm and today, gone and largely unmissed.

GoBucky36
01-13-2011, 03:40 PM
Kohl Center. Its the best college hockey venue there is.

goldy_331
01-13-2011, 03:49 PM
Kohl Center. Its the best college hockey venue there is.

Assuming you are going to a hockey venue to see a basketball game, otherwise, not so much.

bigblue_dl
01-13-2011, 04:07 PM
Assuming you are going to a hockey venue to see a basketball game, otherwise, not so much.
Exactly.

Saying that the Kohl Center is the best college hockey venue is like saying that Cowboy Stadium is the best place to watch a baseball game.

LTsatch
01-13-2011, 04:21 PM
I love history and tradition more than most people do. There is something magical about playing a game in the same place that players 50, 75 or even 100 years ago did. These buildings make magical memories because while the players may change, the uniforms, fight songs, cheers and sightlines connect old and new in the tapestry of time and tradition. Even as we age and our memories get less sharp over time, there is still something very special about older buildings that connecs us to sense of a time and place. Maybe you came with your dad and sat up close as a kid, or in the student section when you were a student or you sit today in your own spot as a season ticket holder. You are a part of that time span, and your program's heritage.

That said, good recruits almost always prefer new and modern to old and charming. There is usually a direct correlation between modern arena investment and program quality. In other words, most top teams have made the arena investment to attract good players, as it is a tangible committment to the sport by the school.

There is also the reality that some facilities age better than others. For example, Yost Ice Arena is worth keeping, because even as a 1923 fieldhouse, it had plenty of charm as a hockey arena, sightlines are great and the sound echoes well to make a true home ice advantage when filled with 6500 Wolvie zealots. It is the Wrigley Field of college hockey arenas.

DU Arena, however, was a surplus WWII Drill Hall in Idaho before it became a hockey arena in the late 40s. While it had character in spades, it never had charm and the amenities were awful and the place was falling apart after 30 years, let alone 50 years. I don't think very many DU fans miss the place at all today. If DU arena were a ballpark, it would be Tiger Stadium or Cleveland Municipal Stadium, lots of character and history, but low on charm and today, gone and largely unmissed.

Great post Swami. I think Yale got it right in the way they renovated Ingalls last year. They basically rehabbed the entire existing structure from roof to lighting to sound and ice, they then took the old spaces under the arena and used them for expanded concessions and hospitality. To attract the new recruits, they created tens of thousands of new space underground around the rink for new locker rooms, training facilities and offices for the coaching staffs. The building still holds it's original charm, while the amenities to both athletes and spectators have been upgraded significantly. BTW, they bought a new traditional four sided score board, no video.

http://yaletomorrow.yale.edu/pdfs/renovatingingalls.pdf

http://www.yalebulldogs.com/images/facilities/ingalls_rink/20091006_inside_by_Michael_Marsland.jpg?max_height =365&max_width=550

http://www.yalebulldogs.com/sports/m-hockey/2009-10/photos/0010/locker_5DSC_9998.jpg?max_width=800&max_height=600

http://www.yalebulldogs.com/sports/m-hockey/2009-10/photos/0010/Ingalls_Night.jpg?max_width=800&max_height=600

Puck Swami
01-13-2011, 04:34 PM
Great post Swami. I think Yale got it right in the way they renovated Ingalls last year.


Ingalls is a architectural wonder - while some call it the Whale, I think Eero Saarinen's intentions were more to build the ceiling more like a Viking ship - an epic nod to northern civilizations and mid century optimism. It's also a great place to see a game, although I haven't been there for about 8 or 10 years - did they ever redo the bathrooms? As I recall, there was only 1 or 2 for the whole building and quite a line for it between periods....

LTsatch
01-13-2011, 05:36 PM
Ingalls is a architectural wonder - while some call it the Whale, I think Eero Saarinen's intentions were more to build the ceiling more like a Viking ship - an epic nod to northern civilizations and mid century optimism. It's also a great place to see a game, although I haven't been there for about 8 or 10 years - did they ever redo the bathrooms? As I recall, there was only 1 or 2 for the whole building and quite a line for it between periods....

They added a couple of large ones in the old locker room area under the stands. They also went with flushless urinals which are very "green" but a little freaky IMO. The only thing they did wrong was double the price of admission to the Schley room for beers between periods and after the game, at $30 they priced me into the parking lot with my buddys and a six pack. Ticket prices at Yale are quite high as well, almost cried when I saw Brown charges $50 for a season ticket, Yale is at least $150 for the season.

Puck Swami
01-13-2011, 05:47 PM
Ticket prices at Yale are quite high as well, almost cried when I saw Brown charges $50 for a season ticket, Yale is at least $150 for the season.

Yale tickets are the bargain of the century @$150 for a season!

For Denver:
Full Season Tickets (25 games):
Prices for adults in the 2010-11 season range from $625 for a sideline ice-level season ticket, to $525 for tickets in the corners, behind the goals, and in the corners of the West stands. Upper-level seats behind the North and South goals are $375.

WeWantMore
01-13-2011, 05:50 PM
Assuming you are going to a hockey venue to see a basketball game, otherwise, not so much.

Exactly.
Saying that the Kohl Center is the best college hockey venue is like saying that Cowboy Stadium is the best place to watch a baseball game.

Sad but true.

UWisco
01-13-2011, 07:35 PM
I have to say I love the Kohl and it is a nice arena but the Ralph in NoDak has to be one of the best.

Fighting Sioux 23
01-13-2011, 08:57 PM
I have to say I love the Kohl and it is a nice arena but the Ralph in NoDak has to be one of the best.

Agreed. The Ralph is the finest rink in college hockey. It really isn't close, and I do enjoy the Gopher jealousy when they try and rip on it. Saying that, and picking up on what has been said previously, there is more to determine the "best" than just opulence and amenities. I've been to nearly every arena in the WCHA and CCHA, and basically zero out east, and out of that cropping I'd put the Ralph, Yost, Kohl Center and Mariucci in the upper echelon for "best" arenas.

dxmnkd316
01-13-2011, 09:03 PM
Yale tickets are the bargain of the century @$150 for a season!

For Denver:
Full Season Tickets (25 games):
Prices for adults in the 2010-11 season range from $625 for a sideline ice-level season ticket, to $525 for tickets in the corners, behind the goals, and in the corners of the West stands. Upper-level seats behind the North and South goals are $375.

Quit whining. Denver is a bargain compared to Minnesota. I'm paying about $700-$750 now. Going up $100 next year. And I'm in a corner.

moose97
01-13-2011, 10:01 PM
Yale tickets are the bargain of the century @$150 for a season!

For Denver:
Full Season Tickets (25 games):
Prices for adults in the 2010-11 season range from $625 for a sideline ice-level season ticket, to $525 for tickets in the corners, behind the goals, and in the corners of the West stands. Upper-level seats behind the North and South goals are $375.

Hell, even Bemidji State season tix start at $325 (okay, $275 in the family section)...

burgie12
01-13-2011, 10:05 PM
Quit whining. Denver is a bargain compared to Minnesota. I'm paying about $700-$750 now. Going up $100 next year. And I'm in a corner.
I guess I shouldn't b*tch about the $60 that I paid for season tickets this season, eh?

Granted, the HFH is nothing like Magness (a pretty nice arena, from the games I saw there) and Mariucci (which I have not been to). But, it's still better than Messa or Starr.

I really want to make it to Appleton at some point (hopefully when Clarkson is in town) and I'm finally hitting Lynah tomorrow. The Whit, Alfond, Ingalls, and Conte are really the only other 4 arenas at which I really, really want to see a great rivalry game.

LTsatch
01-13-2011, 10:06 PM
Quit whining. Denver is a bargain compared to Minnesota. I'm paying about $700-$750 now. Going up $100 next year. And I'm in a corner.

Well I guess I will not complain when I can pay $400 for the season and it will include free beer and wine between periods, and for one hour after the game.:D:D
You guys need to stop playing so many games.

4four4
01-13-2011, 10:06 PM
Old Williams arena was great but you could never see unless you were sitting in the first row in the upper deck.

dxmnkd316
01-13-2011, 10:11 PM
I hate you all. That being said, I have the least expensive seat in the house. I think the highest priced tickets are going to go for something like $60 a game next year (or more).