United Center

Ranking every NHL arena by capacity, atmosphere, history & more

Home » NHL » Best NHL arenas: Ranked by capacity, atmosphere, history, & more

There have been plenty of good and bad NHL rinks in the league’s history, but which ones currently are considered the best NHL arenas? It is a difficult question to answer, especially when comparing all 32 different arenas in the league.

Best NHL arenas

When looking at which arenas are the best, there are many things to consider. What are the loudest NHL arenas, what are the biggest, and what are the oldest NHL arenas? These all play a factor in determining the best of them all.

For this list, only arenas currently used by NHL teams will be included. Here are the 32 NHL arenas ranked from worst to best.

32. FLA Live Arena (Panthers)

Although one of the largest NHL arenas, it is never full during Florida Panthers games. The arena was built in 1998 and has a maximum capacity of 19,250.

Out of all the arenas, NHL players in 2017 voted FLA Live Arena as the rink with the worst ice.


31. PNC Arena (Hurricanes)

Another arena disliked by players; PNC Arena is the home of the Carolina Hurricanes. The arena opened in 1999 and has a capacity of 18,680 spectators.

Carolina ranks near the bottom of attendance each year, as the location is not the best to attract fans.

30. Gila River Arena (Coyotes)

The Gila River Arena will not be the home of the Arizona Coyotes for long, with the team getting kicked out at the end of the season. That may be a good thing as the attendance is always poor and the location is far from the city.

It looks as though the Coyotes will be hoping for a new location in Tempe, AZ for the future.


29. Canadian Tire Centre (Senators)

The Ottawa Senators have been trying to move on from the Canadian Tire Centre for a while. The main reason for wanting a new arena is that the current location is not in the center of Ottawa and is hard for people to get to.

The Senators have ranked last in attendance since the 2018-19 season.

28. Honda Center (Ducks)

The Honda Center has been home to the Anaheim Ducks since 1993. It is one of the oldest rinks, and that is one of the reasons why it’s not one of the best NHL arenas.

Another reason for being ranked near the bottom is that NHL players have said that the ice at the rink is among the worst in the league.

27. Ball Arena (Avalanche)

Ball Arena has been the home of the Colorado Avalanche since its opening in 1999. In addition to being the home of the Avalanche, it is also the home of the Denver Nuggets.

There is nothing special about the arena, as the capacity is in the bottom half of the league and does not provide a big atmosphere for fans.

26. KeyBank Center (Sabres)

Although not one of the best NHL arenas, it is one of the largest with a capacity of just over 19,000. It has been the home of the Buffalo Sabres since 1996.

The atmosphere is pretty good for an arena that is usually less than 75% full on most nights.

25. Scotiabank Saddledome (Flames)

One of the oldest and biggest arenas currently in the NHL, the Scotiabank Saddledome has been the home of the Calgary Flames since 1983.

Named Saddledome for its unique shape, as the exterior of the arena looks like a giant saddle. Everything looks and feels old in the arena and is one of the most in desperate need of a rebuild.

24. Prudential Center (Devils)

Built in 2007, Prudential Center has the second smallest capacity of all NHL arenas with a capacity of 16,514.

The arena has a great exterior look but is nothing special on the inside. The attendance percentage for Devils games is among the worst in the league, which is not great for an arena of its size.

23. Rogers Place (Oilers)

One of the newest arenas, Rogers Place was built in 2016. It is the home of the Edmonton Oilers and has a capacity of 18,347.

Although having two of the best players in the league, the Oilers still struggle to sell out games, as the atmosphere is the loudest when the fans are upset.

22. Enterprise Center (Blues)

Enterprise Center, with a capacity of 18,096, is the home of the St. Louis Blues. The arena opened in 1994 and hosted the NHL All-Star Game in 2020.

The atmosphere is solid but doesn’t compare to the best NHL arenas on this list.

21. Nationwide Arena (Blue Jackets)

The best part about Nationwide Arena is that a cannon inside the arena fires when the Blue Jackets score a big goal.

The arena was the first in the NHL to have a practice rink inside the same facility. It opened in 2000 and has a capacity of 18,144.

20. TD Garden (Bruins)

TD Garden was built in 1995 and has been the home of the Boston Bruins since. Unfortunately, the arena has no chance of competing with the old Boston Garden.

A recent renovation has made some fans angry with the lack of room in between seats while watching the game.

19. Xcel Energy Center (Wild)

Xcel Energy Center has been the home of the Minnesota Wild since 2000 and has a maximum capacity of 17,954 spectators.

Although the arena is nothing special, it ranks among the top in the league in attendance percentage, so the atmosphere is always loud.

18. UBS Arena (Islanders)

One of the newest arenas, the UBS Arena opened in November of 2021 and replaced the Nassau Coliseum, which was the former home of the New York Islanders.

The Islanders lost their first seven games in the new arena, winning their first game on December 11, 2021.

17. Climate Pledge Arena (Kraken)

The Climate Pledge Arena has a ton of history, first opening in 1962 as Washington State Pavilion. The arena went through a big renovations over the last few years before welcoming the Seattle Kraken this season.

In addition to the Kraken, the WNBA’s Seattle Storm call the Climate Pledge Arena home.

16. American Airlines Center (Stars)

The American Airlines Center has been home for the Dallas Stars since 2001. The arena has a maximum capacity of 18,532 spectators for NHL games.

In 2007, the American Airlines Center hosted the NHL All-Star Game. There is nothing wrong with the arena, but nothing great either.

15. Rogers Arena (Canucks)

Rogers Arena, which was known as General Motors Place from 1995-2010, is the current home of the Vancouver Canucks. The arena was built to replace the old home of the Canucks, the Pacific Coliseum.

The arena hosted the ice hockey games during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

14. SAP Center (Sharks)

The San Jose Sharks have been playing at the SAP Center since 1993. The arena has a maximum capacity of 17,562 spectators, which makes it the ninth smallest in the league.

The arena provides a closer look at the action and has a pretty loud atmosphere as well.

13. PPG Paints Arena (Penguins)

PPG Paints Arena is one of the newer arenas in the NHL, opening up in 2010. The arena replaced the Pittsburgh Penguins’ old rink, the Civic Arena, which was built back in 1961.

The Penguins are the only professional sports team that uses PPG Paints arena for home games.

12. Scotiabank Arena (Maple Leafs)

Scotiabank Arena is the tenth-largest arena in the NHL and is almost always sold out for Toronto Maple Leafs games.

The arena opened in 1999 and is also the home of the Toronto Raptors.

11. Amalie Arena (Lightning)

Amalie Arena has been the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning since 1996. It has a maximum capacity of 19,092 which is the seventh-largest in the league.

The arena has hosted the NHL All-Star Game in 1999 and 2018.

10. Crypto.com Arena (Kings)

Crypto.com Arena, famously known as the Staples Center until 2021, first opened in 1999.

In addition to being the current home of the Los Angeles Kings, the arena is home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.

9. Capital One Arena (Capitals)

The Washington Capitals have called Capital One Arena their home since 1997. The arena has a maximum capacity of 18,506 spectators.

During intense games, it is one of the loudest NHL arenas in the league, especially when Alex Ovechkin finds the back of the net.

8. Wells Fargo Center (Flyers)

Although Flyers fans are certainly not known for being friendly, they are passionate and create a great atmosphere inside the Wells Fargo Center.

The multi-purpose arena was built in 1996 and has a maximum capacity of 19,543, the third-largest in the league.

7. Bridgestone Arena (Predators)

Bridgestone Arena is known for having a great atmosphere for Nashville Predators games.

The arena is in a great location as it’s easily accessible by fans near the city and has one of the more comfortable seats compared to other arenas.

6. Canada Life Centre (Jets)

The Canada Life Centre, formally known as Bell MTS Place, has been the home of the Winnipeg Jets since 2011.

Although the smallest arena in the league with a capacity of just 15,321, Canada Life Centre is one of the best NHL arenas, as fans are up close in the action and the atmosphere is always great.

5. Little Caesars Arena (Red Wings)

Little Caesars Arena is one of the newest and nicest arenas in the NHL.

The arena opened in 2017 and has been home for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons since. It has the fourth-largest capacity of any arena in the league.

4. T-Mobile Arena (Golden Knights)

The Vegas Golden Knights joined the league as an expansion team in 2017 and have called T-Mobile Arena home since their first game.

Players love the atmosphere that the arena brings, while the fans always have a great time getting loud for their team.

3. Madison Square Garden (Rangers)

One of the oldest NHL arenas, Madison Square Garden was built back in 1968. It is the current home of the New York Rangers.

Madison Square Garden is not only the most famous arena in the NHL but also one of the most well-known arenas in the U.S.

2. United Center (Blackhawks)

One of the largest NHL arenas, the United Center has a maximum capacity of 19,717.

The Chicago Blackhawks have called the arena home since 1995. The attendance percentage for Blackhawks games is usually the best in the league, having one of the best atmospheres in the NHL.

1. Bell Centre (Canadiens)

Nothing compares to the atmosphere that the Bell Centre creates, which is the reason why the home of the Montreal Canadiens is number one on the best NHL arenas list.

The arena was built in 1996 and is by far the largest NHL arena with a maximum capacity of 21,302 spectators.

2 thoughts on “Ranking every NHL arena by capacity, atmosphere, history & more”

  1. There is literally ZERO history in Climate Pledge Arena, it first opened in Oct of 2021. Sure, it sits on the same plot of land that the previous arenas did. But other than the roof it’s entirely brand new. 10 minutes of research would have explained all that. Nice try though.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *