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CenturyLink Center

Omaha, NE

Home of the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks

4.0

N/A

CenturyLink Center (map it)
455 N 10th St
Omaha, NE 68102


Nebraska Omaha Mavericks website

CenturyLink Center website

Year Opened: 2003

Capacity: 17,560

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Mavericks of College Hockey

If you are a college sports fan you have probably heard of the CenturyLink Center. It is the home of the wildly successful Creighton Blue Jays basketball program.

What most people outside of Omaha usually don’t know is that the CenturyLink Center is also home to University of Nebraska Omaha hockey program, a very successful college hockey program in its own right.

Located in beautiful downtown Omaha, the CenturyLink Center is located just a few blocks from the historic Old Market. It is located 20 minutes from the UNO campus.

4.0

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    4

The food is surprisingly good for an arena. You will find all the standard arena food plus a number of outside food vendors including Alexander's BBQ, Famous Dave's BBQ, Katie's Gyros, Maui Wowi smoothies, the world-famous Dippin' Dots frozen ice cream and a favorite of mine and fat people everywhere - MiniDonuts!

The prices are a little steep, not NBA steep, but still a little high for Omaha, but the quality is good.

And yes, they serve beer and other adult beverages at UNO hockey games.

Hot dogs cost $3.50. It's a good dog, with a salty taste and a nice blend of spices, plus a warm, soft bun.

Pepsi products are available in 32 oz plastic cup for $4.75.

Atmosphere    5

Going to a college hockey game with over 6,000 fans will almost always be a great atmosphere, even though the CenturyLink Center has seating for three times that many fans.

The lower seating bowl's seats wrap around the ice. At both ends of the ice the concourse lobbies over-look the ice. For side seats, fans enter through four portals and the concourse circles the lower seating bowl under the upper deck seats. The upper deck is generally not used for hockey games.

On each side, under the upper deck seating, there are 32 corporate boxes with seating located above the boxes and on both ends. There is a ribbon board on the facing of the upper deck seats that features mostly advertising. It is a little NHLish and a little gaudy, but it is generating some money.

There is a large center-hung, eight-sided scoreboard. Four panels are video boards and four are used for team and player stats. It is easy to see from any seat. There are also plenty of flat screen TVs scattered throughout the concourse, so fans do not miss any of the action when they leave their seats.

High above the south end upper deck there is a video board that is smaller than the center-hung board and it doesn't seem that fans would be inclined to look up there.

This is a great college hockey atmosphere. They usually have 6,000 fans that consistently come out to cheer the Mavs on to victory.

Throw in upbeat music during breaks in the action, plus the enthusiastic crowd and this is a fast-paced and exciting sporting event.

Neighborhood    5

The CenturyLink Center is right on the edge of downtown Omaha and there are plenty of things to do within walking distance. The arena and the attached convention center are attached via a skywalk to the eight-story, 600-room Hilton Omaha Hotel. If the rates at the Hilton are a little too high for your taste there are several other hotels within walking distance.

Right across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa there are even lower-priced hotels and several very nice casinos, if that is your vice of choice.

Also within walking distance and right across from the home of the College World Series, TD Ameritrade Ballpark, is Goodnight's Pizza. Down the street to the north is Union Pizza and Sports Bar, a typical, but decent sports bar.

The Old Mattress Factory Bar and Grill is located just south of TD Ameritrade Ballpark and it is a popular bar and grill. The building was constructed in 1883 as a grocery store and it has a lot of historic charm. The food is good, but not cheap. Salads are in the $8-$10 range. The sandwiches and burgers are close to $10 with fries. Steaks, ribs, fish and chips are also on the menu.

Just a little south of the CenturyLink Center is DJ's Dugout and that is a top notch sports bar with plenty of TVs to watch almost any sporting event. Fans can eat there for around $10.

Less than a 10 minute walk past DJ's is the Old Market, which is a big-time entertainment area featuring restaurants and shops. In the Old Market fans will find steakhouses, Italian, fast food, ice cream, ethnic foods, adult bars, college-type bars and my favorite, the Havana Garage, a cigar bar where you can smoke a fine cigar, hear some good jazz music and enjoy some adult or not so adult beverages. I will not even attempt to start naming any of the many establishments because there are quite a few, but you will find something that you like in Omaha's Old Market.

Fans    4

Like college sports fans at any school in Nebraska you will find the fans to be very friendly and welcoming to visiting fans. UNO fans come out in large numbers, they understand the game of hockey and love their team. UNO is usually ranked in the top five in attendance in the NCAA.

Access    4

Get off of the North Freeway at the Cummins Street exit and it is less than a mile to 10th Street where you will see the CenturyLink Center to your right. You can also take I-480 and get off at N 14th Street and you will see the arena.

There is plenty of parking around the CenturyLink Center and most parking runs $8 and up. There is also free street parking that can be found all over downtown, after business hours.

In the CenturyLink Center fans on every level will not have to walk very far to find large and clean restrooms.

Return on Investment    3

Tickets are $20 and $15. A fan can get a ticket, a hot dog and a Pepsi, plus parking for $31. Of course, if there are four fans in the car, the cost would come down to about $25 for all the above.

Extras    3

Attending a game at a venue that ranks in the top five in attendance is good for a star. The friendliness of the fans and people of Omaha is worth a star and the quality of play is worth a star.

Final Thoughts

Even though the CenturyLink Center is twice the size that is needed for UNO hockey, it comes alive when the Mavericks are playing. As an added bonus it is located in a fantastic downtown setting. This is a must visit for college hockey fans; you will not be disappointed.

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Local Food & Drink

Havana Garage  (map it!)

1008 Howard St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 614-3800

http://thehavanagarage.com/

Old Mattress Factory Bar and Grill  (map it!)

501 N 13th St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 346-9116

http://www.themattomaha.com/

DJ's Dugout  (map it!)

636 N 114th St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 498-8855

http://www.djsdugout.com/

Union Pizza and Sports Bar  (map it!)

1420 Cuming St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 932-2929

http://www.unionsportsbar.com/

Goodnight's Pizza  (map it!)

1302 Mike Fahey St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 502-2151

http://goodnightsomaha.com/about.php

Local Entertainment

Lodging

Hilton Omaha Hotel  (map it!)

1001 Cass St

Omaha, NE 68102

(402) 998-3400

http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/OMACVHH-Hilton-Omaha-Nebraska/index.do

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