Bell Number Eight?

Hard to believe that seeing a game at the Bell Centre only ranks number 8 behind Minnesota, Washington, Winnipeg, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and New York, but that’s what the Stadium Journey people have decided in their new 2014 rankings.

I was sure there was no better experience than being at the Bell. In fact I’m still sure, regardless of what they say. Number 8 definitely beats Ottawa though, which comes in at a dismal 29th.

Here’s the link with new ratings for all the barns – Stadium Journey Arena Rankings.

15 thoughts on “Bell Number Eight?”

  1. Forget the new rinks.Let’s go back to the old rinks.The Forum was great.Maple Leaf Gardens,The Boston Garden and The Olympia were definitely past their good days when I attended NHL games in those buildings.I loved the barb wire parking lot around The Olympia where cars parked fender to fender.Madison Square Gardens was boring and had really bad food.

    Now to Chicago Stadium … easily the best sports arena ever.I was wowed when I first entered.The multi levels,the organ,Wayne Messmer singing the US National Anthem,the great pizza … and Chicago is a great city.

    Chicago Stadium # 1 !

  2. Very strange article. First they say they determine the ratings based on this:

    “Factors we include are food and beverage in the arena, overall atmosphere, the neighborhood, the fans, access (which includes parking, traffic, restrooms, and concourses), return on investment, and an “extras” category for any unique or bonus points. We use our official ratings when determining the ranking with “crowd reviews” – those reviews from our members – as our primary tiebreaker.”

    “Then, they describe what makes Minnesota’s arena #1 with:
    The fans know the game and appreciate the little things, such as clearing the puck on the penalty kill, or a good defensive play to prevent a scoring chance. That is what gives the Xcel a truly special atmosphere and, even though the initial luster of having the NHL back in Minnesota has worn off, there is still a buzz around the building – especially now, with the new management and the trajectory the team seems to be on for the future.”

    I think they’re full of crap.

  3. Well Marjo it’s nice to see an American publication added one Canadian city, most of nearly killed them!

  4. Exactly. American publication selects “best” from their members. So objective (sarcasm).

  5. Only 4 stars for atmosphere is low, if it doesn’t have the best atmosphere in the league, they need to rethink their criteria.

    But what really knocks the Bell Centre is the 3 star return on investment, “Attending a hockey game in Montréal is not cheap”. When you’re consistently sold out, that’s what happens. It’s easy to be affordable in cities where no one attends.

    Read through the extras section, it as if 5 stars wasn’t enough. All other stadiums should be knocked down one or two stars compared to Montreal.

  6. American bullshit , screw those biased selfserving bastards and to hell with that goof Bettgirl too ! Just sayin’….

  7. Give a rat’s foot for some pompous rating from a foreign land. If my son takes me to first home game of next season, with Dennis as “tour guide” —where will we go—–THE BEST PLACE TO CATCH A HOCKEY GAME– THE BELL!!! It’s not always where you go, but what’s HAPPENING where you go. Let the masses knock the Habs and that which relates to the Habs, it makes our series win over Boston so much more tickect-tee-boo. The Bell may be expensive but I don’t hear those southern teams complain when the Habs write ” subsidy” cheques to places selling seats for $7.00 w/free burger & drink just to lure in folks. Who gives the anthem singer a louder ovation than most barns give the home team on an overtime winning goal? Who give the medal winners a standing ovation like the Bell?? Who bring in the cross town Grey Cup Champs and blows my headphones–even if they came from the dollar store—- Yeah guess I’ll jump ship to Minnesota to cheer on Vanishing Vaneck..— just to be in the best barn to catch a game!! It must be distracting at the Bell, trying to watch a game instead of reminiscing with all the banners and sweaters in the rafters. Could we rent them out to some other barns?. Guess I got carried away again,sorry.

  8. I miss the old barns, Doug, although I wasn’t in as many as you. But I’ve been in plenty, even if they weren’t all NHL rinks.Loved the old smells. And it bothers me that they don’t sell programs at rinks now. I guess the internet and printers did away that.

  9. It’s all craziness, Marjo. I’ve been to a few American rinks – Washington, New Jersey, Hartford, and they weren’t even close to the atmosphere of Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, rinks I saw games in Canada. So I really don\t know what these folks are talking about.

  10. It’s nuts Christopher. You nailed it about it being easy to be affordable where no one attends. The Bell Centre should be at the top of that list every year. Automatically.

  11. Hi Peter. The Bell is the best place (although the music can be a tad loud). But it’s hard to imagine an atmosphere that can compare. These rankings people need to go when it’s a Montreal-Boston playoff game. They’d rush like crazy to put the Bell at the top after that. I’ll bet Minnesota is boring, like so many of the rinks are. It takes a special place, and for sure it’s in Montreal. Loved your comment as always.

  12. Having seen the Habs only on the road, I can’t comment on the Bell Centre. However ,Tampa is nice and full of Montreal fans. So plentiful seats is a plus. The food is crap. St. Louis is a cold building in terms of amenities. Plenty of Budweiser, however.

    Hopefully this season I’ll be able to make a “fair’ comparison and make the trek to the Bell Centre…

  13. I agree with you Doug. I remember going to the Forum one time and we parked in a tiny parking lot so close to the next car that the only way my Dad could get out of the car was through the window!!

    I really wonder why they didn’t build the Bell as a larger replica of the Forum with those classic red panels behind the bench and around the first level. I know that maybe they wanted a new beginning with a brand new arena, but how about the new Yankee Stadium which was modeled after the old Yankee Stadium to keep that original feel.

  14. @Googaly

    I went to the very last series in 1973 at the original Yankee Stadium.The second Yankee Stadium was pretty bad.It was kinda frightening to go to the Bronx in those days!

    I would love to go to the new Yankee Stadium.It looks fantastic and seems to have the feel of the original Yankee Stadium.Old feel with modern comfort.Baseball got it …

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