Even though the Colorado Avalanche suffered a disappointing and unexpected fate in the 2022-23 Playoffs, losing in the First Round to the Seattle Kraken, the club received a different accolade in May. According to a study conducted by CanadaSportsBetting, Ball Arena, the home of the Avalanche, is the best NHL arena for fans. The study used several factors, including the price of a beer in USD and walkability to public transport, to rank all 32 arenas in the league. And, just like the Avalanche did in the 2021-22 season, Ball Arena came out on top.
Calculating the Rankings
“CanadaSportsBetting evaluated all 32 current NHL arenas on four key metrics; the average price per ounce of beer (USD), the walking distance from each arena to the closest public transport, the walking distance to the nearest external restaurant, and the availability of dedicated parking,” the study reads. Each metric was ranked on a scale of ten, meaning the maximum score any given arena could achieve was 40. Of course, percentage points (like 7.5, for example) were included as well, meaning one arena could top another by less than a point.
It’s interesting to note that none of these rankings comment on the actual arena itself, skipping factors like the number of bathrooms, the year built, and even the age of other facilities and parts, like the jumbotron. So, obviously, there’s a ton of room for leeway and disagreement in the study’s conclusions ( from “Vancouver’s Rogers Arena ranked 25th out of all NHL arenas”, The Province, May 15, 2023).
Ball Arena’s Winning Categories
Even though ticket prices in Denver surged after the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup victory, ticket prices are still relatively affordable compared to other cities across the league. And the price per ounce of beer is, quite literally, the best in the NHL, the study found.
Ball Arena tallied an impressive 35.57 points out of 40, as it offers below-average beer prices, which are set at $0.78 per ounce. It’s also a one-minute walk from the closest bus station, located at Auraria Parkway and 9th Street, and there’s a light rail stop and tons of other public transportation options nearby. And Ball Arena is a one-minute walk from the nearest offsite restaurant, which is called Brooklyn’s At Ball Arena, and even offers dedicated on-site arena parking. It’s also close to a slew of eateries in a nearby pedestrian zone and located steps from other sports facilities.
As mentioned, the study does not count that Ball Arena was completed in 1999 (and has seen more than one name in its history) and that the giant jumbotron is ten years old. It has seen two Stanley Cup victories, the one achieved by current executive Joe Sakic and the 2002 Avalanche team, as well as the 2022 Stanley Cup run.
How Other Arenas Stack Up
Coming in just behind Ball Arena is Little Caesar’s Arena, the home of the Detroit Red Wings, which scored 34.86 out of 40. Ball Arena edged it out primarily because of the difference in beer prices. The Columbus Blue Jackets’ stadium, Nationwide Arena, ranks third with a score of 34.02 (again, largely due to the discrepancy in beer prices).
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The highest-ranked Canadian arena is the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, which houses the Canadiens. It finished with a score of 27.74, despite having a wildly cheap price per ounce of beer because of the 12-minute walk from the closest public transportation stop to the arena.
The bottom three arenas are the controversial Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona (home of the Coyotes), the Anaheim Ducks’ Honda Center and, somewhat shockingly, the New York Islanders’ new facility, UBS Arena.