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Magness Arena

Denver, CO

Home of the Denver Pioneers

3.3

3.3

Magness Arena (map it)
2240 Buchtel Blvd
Denver, CO 80208


Denver Pioneers website

Magness Arena website

Year Opened: 1999

Capacity: 7,200

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Pioneer Hockey

The Denver University Men’s Hockey team (Pioneers) has won seven Division 1- NCAA Championships since their origination in 1949. They currently are in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Conference (WCHA) and play in Magness Arena, one part of the’ Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness‘ that opened in 1999 in Denver, CO. Magness Arena seats 6,026 for hockey and also hosts basketball, graduation ceremonies, concerts, and the like.

Prior to the building of the Ritchie Center, the Pioneers played in DU Field House Arena which stood for 50 years where the Ritchie Center is now located.

Besides the 7 NCAA Championships, the Pioneer Men’s hockey can also claim:

22 NCAA Appearances
12 WCHA Championships
15 Denver Cup Classic Championships

3.3

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    3

I was very surprised that alcohol was served at this venue. For some reason, I thought college arenas did not serve alcohol if they were located on the university premise but there is lots of it here. I'm going to guess and say that because the Ritchie Center is part of a neighborhood, it is not considered 'on campus' thus alcohol can be served.

There is a well placed full service bar at the main entranceway near the souvenir shop area and there are plenty of concessions throughout the concourse offering beer on tap, including Guinness, Coors, Budweiser, Molson, Blue Moon, and some local brews ranging from $5 - $10 depending on size and brand.

There are plenty of concession stands to get your standard fare: hot dogs, pretzels, nachos, burritos, popcorn, etc., ranging from $3.00 - $8.00. Most stands accept cash only but there are a few that take credit cards. My recommendation: bring cash to the game if you are planning on eating there.

The food delight of this arena is the Coors Carving Station. It has turkey, roast beef, and ham and the meat is sliced and sandwiches made right in front of your eyes. Served with chips, the sandwiches are $9.

If you want to enjoy the university environment, do check out some of the local establishments outside of the arena. If not, there is absolutely no need to eat before you visit - there are plenty of choices at this arena, though somewhat pricey.

Atmosphere    3

It was uncomfortably cold in the arena. I had on jeans, thermal shirt, sweater, coat, gloves, and scarf and I was still shivering. Recommendation: Bring a blanket or two and wear two layers.

The walls of the concourse are lined with showcases of not only hockey historical events and memorabilia but all 'Pioneer' sports including golf, basketball, skiing, lacrosse, and etc. both men and women's teams. DU is #1 amongst all NCAA Division 1 non-football schools. That's what the plaque said.

There is also a Wall of Fame with plaques honoring individuals and teams who have made outstanding contributions in the field of intercollegiate athletics representing the University of Denver. Behind the Coors Carving Station area mentioned above is a pictorial display of the history of Coors and DU hockey.

All very nicely done and I recommend getting to the arena early to visit the concourse and see and read the history displayed here.

There are all the banners adorning the rafters above one end zone commemorating the championships won by the Pioneers. I was disappointed that only the US flag is hung and not the Canadian one.

At the game I attended, no scoring was shown on the center 4-sided scoreboard until the 2nd period of the Denver game and it was too small; I couldn't read it. Why bother? They did post the score, period, time, SOG on scoreboards located on each end of the rink that was readable but it was in an awkward place, though readable.

Entertainment besides the hockey - the Pioneers have a 'make a poster' sponsored by Fast Signs pre- game where kids could draw and design their own signs and posters. They showed the little ones on video during a break in the action. At the game I attended there was a Sumo hockey contest during intermission that was very entertaining.

Neighborhood    3

I did not notice a hotel within walking distance (1/2 mile) to the arena. However, there are many along the RTD light rail line. There's a LaQuinta one light rail station away (without light rail, it's maybe a 1.2 mile hike to DU).

One block west of Magness Arena contains many establishments. I went to Crimson and Tide Tavern. It's a sports bar with 5+ TVs showing a variety of sporting events. Food and service was fine, nothing fancy - a good salad and a beer which is fine by me.

Also in that area are Greek Gone Wild Pizza, Jason's Thai Asian Bistro & Sushi, Subway, and a Starbucks. I noticed a 'Medical Marijuana' establishment. Colorado is one of the 16 states that permit usage of the drug for medical reasons. I had never ever noticed a store front for such requirements before.

There are plenty of sporting venues in the Ritchie Center and surrounding area: lacrosse, tennis, gymnastics, tennis, soccer, and more.

Fans    4

Turns out, the day I attended a DU hockey game was the Denver Cup Classic. The Denver Cup Classic is a premier annual sporting event hosted in the Rocky Mountain region. It is a 4 game tournament with four select NCAA hockey teams held over the holiday season (Thanksgiving weekend this year - 2011) and has been held in Denver, CO for the last 20 years.

With that said, there were two games being played the Saturday I attended: one at 4:07pm (Princeton/Providence) and one at 7:07pm (Denver/Miami). Very, very few fans showed for the first game which I found disappointing. The fans did show for the Denver game. Concourses were crowded before the game and the line for the Coors Carving Station grew longer and the noise volume in the arena increased.

There was a good mix of Denver and Miami (Miami of Ohio) fans and all were loud during the game. Congrats go to the Miami (of Ohio) fans who made the trip to Denver to watch their team win the Denver Cup Classic. They were the loudest at the end of the game.

All fans (except one),instinctually knew about the puck in play rule. No-one (without guidance from an event host) ever entered or left the seating arena while there was still action on the ice.

Access    3

If driving, Magness Arena is right off the I-25 interstate on South University Blvd. There is plenty of parking at and around the arena - 9 parking lots ($12). After talking with the parking attendant he stated parking is $3 in the summer (school is out) and can be as high as $25 depending on the event.

I took the RTD light rail for $4.50 round trip causing me no hassles with traffic after the game. Magness Arena is two blocks from the light rail station so very walk-able. It was 25 degrees after the game I attended so that was a bit painful waiting in the chilly weather for the train to arrive. Dress warm and take the light rail is my recommendation.

There are ample, clean bathrooms with plenty of stalls in the ladies room and no wait even right after the game ended.

Return on Investment    3

Tickets were expensive. $21 tickets at Magness Arena for similar seats in the Cadet Ice Arena for $9.

$10 for a beer.
$12 for parking.

A redeeming factor is I got to watch two hockey games (Denver Cup Classic) for the same admission price.

Extras    4

Attending the Denver Cup Classic and two games for the price of one deserves a point or two. Seeing the Denver Cup Award ceremony at the end of the second game was an unexpected extra. Being accessible via light rail (public transportation) is always a plus. The display of the history and championships of DU hockey and all Pioneer teams in the concourse is a definite bonus.

Final Thoughts

A good time was had and it was a delight to see the history here. I'd go back but I'd prefer to go to World Arena mainly because it wasn't freezing cold in that venue. My recommendation when visiting Denver, CO region: See all the hockey venues if you are visiting the area - Pepsi Center, DU-Magness Arena, World Arena, AF Cadet Ice Arena, the Budweiser Event Center, and the Denver Coliseum.

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Crowd Reviews

Pioneers Hockey at Magness Arena

Total Score: 3.29

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 4
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 3
  • Extras: 4

The Denver University Men's Hockey team (Pioneers) has won seven Division 1- NCAA Championships since their origination in 1949. They currently are in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Conference (WCHA) and play in Magness Arena, one part of the 'Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness' that opened in 1999 in Denver, CO. Magness Arena seats 6,026 for hockey and also hosts basketball, graduation ceremonies, concerts, and the like.

Prior to the building of the Ritchie Center, the Pioneers played in DU Field House Arena which stood for 50 years where the Ritchie Center is now located.

Besides the 7 NCAA Championships, Pioneer Men's hockey can also claim:

22 NCAA Appearances
12 WCHA Championships
15 Denver Cup Classic Championships

Denver Pioneers Basketball

Total Score: 3.29

  • Food & Beverage: 2
  • Atmosphere 4
  • Neighborhood: 3
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 3
  • RoI: 5
  • Extras: 3

Although Denver University (DU Pioneers) is more known for its ice hockey program, team, and success than its basketball program, their men’s basketball team is nothing to scoff at this 2011-2012 season.

 

The basketball program at Denver University has existed since 1904 and was first played at the Denver Alumni Gymnasium, then at the DU Field House Arena where they played for 50 years, and is now played at Magness Arena which opened in 1999 on the same spot where the DU Field House Arena had once stood.

 

The Pioneers currently are in the Sun Belt Conference, however, the University of Denver accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), effective the 2012-13 athletic season.

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Local Food & Drink

Crimson and Gold Tavern  (map it!)

2017 S University Blvd

Denver, CO 80210

(720) 379-5454

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Crimson-Gold-Tavern/157137097632702

Local Entertainment

Lodging

La Quinta Inn  (map it!)

1975 South Colorado Blvd

Denver, CO 80222

(303) 758-8886

http://www.lq.com/lq/properties/propertyProfile.do?propId=518

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