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Official Review by Katie Lawrence, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Rogers Arena, formerly GM Place, is home to many events and concerts in the Vancouver area, as well as being the home rink for the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. It was opened in September of 1995. It sits in the heart of downtown, next to BC Place and False Creek, with easy access to restaurants and clubs, as well as transit. To date, it has had over 17 million people ushered through its doors.
In 2010, Rogers Arena was nicknamed Canada Hockey Place for the Vancouver Olympics and played host to the men's and women's ice hockey portions of the Games. It saw both the Canadian men's and women's teams win gold against the United States in both final games.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Rogers Arena has a large variety of food choices: tacos, burritos, hamburgers, French fries, Chinese food, pizza, deli sandwiches, and your must-have sports food, hot dogs. The diverse selection was a big plus, and the food always came out hot and fresh, but the long lines were frustrating. Service was very slow at the busy concessions. The prices were also what fans have come to expect at sports arenas in recent years, jacked up and borderline unreasonable.
It's the same story for the drinks, good selection of beer, pop, coolers, and water, but they were also very expensive.
Rogers Arena also has a restaurant, the Wiser Center Ice Grill, where you can dine and watch the game at the same time. You just have to make a reservation to make sure you get in and have a table.
The 16,966 seats available while the Canucks are playing at Rogers Arena give it a bit of a cozy feel in the stadium, in a good way. Vancouver is known as a hockey town, so having a stadium full of people who love the sport makes the game fun for fans of any team.
For a two level stadium, Rogers Arena doesn't really have a bad view. As long as fans in the steep upper deck sit back in their seats and don't lean on the railings, you can get a clear view of the ice from wherever you sit.
Rogers Arena, located on the north side of BC Place, sits on the line between the main part of downtown Vancouver and the run-down section of Chinatown. It's a great location if you're looking to go out for a drink and some food after the game, but wandering too far from the stadium on one side can land you in a sketchy part of town.
Canucks fans are very loyal to the team when it comes to attending games, with a 373-game sell out streak. That relates back to Vancouver fitting in with the rest of hockey-obsessed Canada.
The fans were loud and proud at the game against the New York Islanders on November 13, where the Canucks came away with a 4-1 win. Luongo was a hero again, but that isn't always the case. When he doesn't play up to snuff, some fans get very harsh and aren't afraid to boo their own goalie.
Also, my boyfriend got a few dirty looks from fans as he walked around the stadium in the jersey of his favourite team, the New Jersey Devils. That shows that Vancouver fans are protective of their team.
Getting to Rogers Arena can either be very easy or very difficult. If you choose to take transit, namely the skytrain, there's a stop right outside the stadium. All you have to do is walk down the stairs and there you have it. The station does get very crowded after the game though, so be ready for that.
If you choose to drive, traffic is always frustrating in Vancouver, so getting close to the stadium will take some patience. Parking costs an arm and leg, and leaving the area after the game takes a lot of extra time.
Ticket prices for Canucks games range from $50-$255+ on Ticketmaster, and if you plan to buy off a scalper or a website like Craigslist, the prices skyrocket from there. You have to be willing to pay a pretty penny to see a single NHL game in Vancouver. The Canucks do play a high level of hockey, though, that is very entertaining to watch, if you like the sport in general.
Fin, the Canucks' whale mascot, dates back to the Orca Bay days and is a well-known symbol of the team. He goes around the stadium with his drum to get the fans going, and the kids love him. He is a little scary looking, with his sharp teeth a feature of Fin's, but overall, he does what a mascot is supposed to do -- entertain the fans.
I love that the Canucks, and most other hockey teams, bring out a child or youth hockey player to skate in the warm-up and stand on the blue line for the anthem(s). It has to be an experience of a lifetime for a kid and it's a great community outreach.
A big negative I found was the lack of a working open wi-fi signal in the stadium. The new BC Place is now wi-fi friendly and the arena next door needs to catch up. In this age of smart phones, the Rogers Arena staff needs to look into supplying that for fans.
Going to a Vancouver Canucks game is a thrill for fans of all ages, as well as fans of teams other than the hometown one. It's nice to have access to the highest level of hockey in North America, if you're willing to shell out the cash. I recommend trying to take in a game if you can afford it. Although, I do advise eating before you come if money is tight.
Rogers Arena is an indoor sports arena located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. The state-of-the-art arena is home to the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League. It was also the home of the NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies and the NLL's Vancouver Ravens; both franchises folded after only a few seasons in their respective leagues.
As corporate sponsors are unable to brand sporting venues during the Olympics, the arena (then General Motors Place) was temporarily renamed Canada Hockey Place for the 2010 Winter Olympics while it hosted the ice hockey events in February 2010. It was renamed Rogers Arena in July 2010 when the naming rights were purchased by Rogers Communications. The arena also hosts some of the world's biggest musical performers when they come to town. The arena seats 18,810 for ice hockey and 19,700 for basketball. It has 88 luxury suites, 12 hospitality suites, and 2,195 club seats.
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111 Robson St
Vancouver, BC V6B 2A8
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