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Top 12 Hockey Arena Experiences in Michigan

By Paul Swaney -- December 12, 2012 9:10 AM EST


Minnesota may be known as the State of Hockey, but Michigan may have the best collection of hockey venues in the United States. With teams in the NHL, AHL, ECHL, OHL, USHL, NAHL, and college hockey there is great hockey to be enjoyed at every level. Here's our list of the 12 best hockey arenas in the state of Michigan.

  1. Van Andel Arena - Home of the Grand Rapids Griffins

    The Grand Rapids Griffins, and the city of Grand Rapids have created a blueprint of how minor league hockey should be presented. The entire experience was first class, regardless if you had the kids with you for a family outing, or if you were the hardcore local fan.

  2. John J. MacInnes Student Ice Arena - Home of the Michigan Tech Huskies

    When you enter John MacInnes Student Ice Center you are bound to be excited about the hockey contest you are about to see. If you’re not, then just wait until about 25 minutes before the puck drops when the pep band enters the arena, led by the drum corps, and marches (or maybe saunters) to their perch in the far corner of the arena.

    Pilgrimage may be too strong a word when making the trip to Houghton, Michigan to see Michigan Tech Huskies hockey given the religious connotations that come with the word, but at the very least you will have made quite a journey to reach the copper country of the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan.

  3. Harry W. Lawson Ice Arena - Home of the Western Michigan Broncos

    Lawson Arena is a classic NCAA arena. With a small capacity of fewer than 4,000, Lawson Arena is an experience unlike your typical NHL or AHL game. Since 1974, the Western Michigan Broncos have been providing this unique hockey experience for students, alumni, and residents of Kalamazoo.

  4. Yost Ice Arena - Home of the Michigan Wolverines

    The history of the Michigan hockey team can not be ignored. Michigan appeared in the Frozen Four in 10 consecutive years from 1948-1957, winning 6 championships. Walk through the second level concourse and you'll find team pictures for every hockey team to lace up the skates at Michigan. On the lower concourse, you will find just about every trophy of importance in college hockey, as well as special tributes to outstanding players and teams.

  5. Berry Events Center - Home of the Northern Michigan Wildcats

    Although hockey has only been a varsity sport since 1976 at Northern Michigan University, the fact that the program has a National Championship (1991) to its credit gives the team a more historic sense of credibility. To add to that, you’ll find back-to-back Frozen Four appearances commemorated on a banner for 1980-1981. More importantly, the Berry Events Center is a great venue to see college hockey.

  6. Ewigleben Arena - Home of the Ferris State Bulldogs

    The doors open 60 minutes before the game begins. Fifty-five minutes before the game, the student section is already half full. You know it’s going to be a great atmosphere when the students are that anxious to get into the game.

  7. Taffy Abel Ice Arena - Home of the Lake Superior State Lakers

    Just an hour north of the iconic Mackinac Bridge, Lake Superior State is the most accessible of the Upper Peninsula college hockey venues for hockey fans in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. For residents of the Upper Peninsula or across the International Bridge to Ontario, you will certainly get your money's worth if you go to see a game at Taffy Abel Arena.

  8. Wings Stadium - Home of the Kalamazoo Wings

    The arena is small, and holds noise in fairly well so you should be able to hear a lot of clicks and clacks of hockey very well. There are only 19 rows, in one level of seats, so you can be sure that you'll have a good view regardless of where you sit.

  9. Munn Ice Arena - Home of the Michigan State Spartans

    An unremarkable, but comfortable venue, Munn Ice Arena has been the home of Michigan State Spartan hockey since 1974. The arena holds 6,470 when at capacity, and provides fans with mostly green plastic bleacher seating with slightly below average leg room.

  10. Joe Louis Arena - Home of the Detroit Red Wings

    Red banners hang throughout the arena, commemorating the many division titles, conference championships, and Presidents’ Cups in the history of the Detroit Red Wings. However, when you have 11 Stanley Cup banners, these others are really just a side note. Only the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs can claim more championships in the NHL.

    Retired jerseys hang in the same row with the 11 Stanley Cup banners. The players include icons like Gordie Howe (#9), Terry Sawchuk (#1), Ted Lindsay (#7), Alex Delvecchio (#10), Sid Abel (#12), and Steve Yzerman (#19). Yzerman’s jersey banner also has a "C" on it, in deference to him being the longest serving captain on a team in the history of the NHL.

  11. McMorran Arena - Home of the Port Huron Fighting Falcons

    The old wooden seats along each side, combined with the ability to watch the game standing along the boards from different perspectives, makes for a great hockey-going experience. You'll find that there are lots of surprises in store for you when you see the Falcons at McMorran Arena.

  12. Compuware Arena - Home of the 1. FC Kaiserslautern

    Compuware Arena is one of those great little hockey arenas, perfectly sized for an OHL game. The Plymouth Whalers were originally known as the Detroit Whalers, but changed their name a year after the move to Plymouth. The Whalers won the OHL championship in 2007, their lone title in 20+ seasons of existence.


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