8 Annoying Oversights Arena Designers Make

Normally I detest top X lists, but I started making this one in my head tonight as I parked in an arena for a late game, and I figured it would be a fun post for a Friday. 🙂

1. The parking lot is 5 miles from the front door. Seriously, hockey players and especially goalies have to carry a lot of crap all the way from the automobile to the door. There’s a reason a ton of hockey bags have wheels now, but that doesn’t make it okay to require us to walk to the arena from Timbuktu. And wheels suck in the snow.

2. The doors are “regular” size. Dude, hockey bags don’t fit through doors very easily. Oversized doors and/or working sliding doors are an amazing invention. Use them!

3. Stairs between the ice and the change room. (OMG, I have become Canadianized, I don’t say “locker room” anymore!) Believe it or not, I’ve seen this on a few occasions. And one arena near Waterloo, Ontario actually super narrow stairs with a turn-around in the middle of the flight of stairs. Try getting through there with goalie equipment on. I’m 5′ tall and it’s a squeeze.

4. No visible board for change room numbers. Even worse is when they make you give your keys for a room key, and it’s a late game, so the attendant is no where to be found when you need to get your keys back.

4. No bar. For Pete’s sake, this should be a requirement!

5. No benches or viewing area. If it’s a super-cold rink, the very basic glass dividing the foyer and the rink is much appreciated by fans.

6. Boards that are ridiculously high — not suitable for jumping over. There’s an arena (in London, Ontario I think) that, I kid you not, the boards come nearly up to my neck. Not only that, but the doors are half the size of normal. Line changes are not swift.

7. Tiny change rooms. You have to have enough to fit 10-15 hockey players and their equipment.

8. I saved the best for last. Only a urinal in the change room. No toilet. I’m not kidding. Almost as bad is when there’s no door!

I’m sure there are more. Feel free to add your own!

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