NHL Arenas: Ranking the Central Division Teams’ Homes

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Sep 29, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; A general view of the American Airlines Center and the W hotel before the game between the Dallas Stars and the St. Louis Blues. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Arenas are one of the most important things in any (local) NHL fan’s life — after all, they are your team’s home! Some of them are nice, others, well, not so much.

The NHL is one of North America’s major sports leagues. Unfortunately, it isn’t the one with the most fan interest. According to ESPN’s major league attendance reports, the NHL is behind the NFL and MLB, and almost tied with the NBA — far behind the two former leagues. That’s why NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman tries to make this league as fancy as possible, which makes the discovery of hideous NHL arenas even more surprising.

Until last season, the ugliest building likely would have been the New York Islander’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. In case you forgot what that looks like, here it is again.

Dec 14, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; A general view of the arena before the game between the New York Islanders and the Montreal Canadiens at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a place with a lot of history, it looks nice inside, but from the outside, it’s just one big, ugly block of cement. Luckily, the Islanders moved to Brooklyn this year, where beautiful Barclay’s Center is their new home. Which team has the ugliest building in the league now? Without wanting to spoil anything — it’s in the Central Division, it’s not Pepsi Center and it looks a lot like the Islanders’ old block of cement.

How important is the outside of a building really, as long as your team is successful and the fans create a good atmosphere inside? Well, NHL arenas are generally located right downtown and contribute to a city’s overall look. Nice arena, nice city; ugly arena, ugly city — at least in theory. Why do we care? When yor team isn’t playing well, you need to find other ways to have fun.

So, let’s take a look at where the Colorado Avalanche’s Pepsi Center ranks among Central Division NHL arenas. Remember, this is just about the architecture and looks of the buildings — not the inside, atmosphere or anything else were not taken into account.

Next: Central Division Arena #7