You’d be hard-pressed to find a faster-paced, more intense game than hockey. That’s watching it on television. Attending a live game adds vibrancy and ramps the excitement level to the extreme. The question is, what are the best seats to watch a hockey game.
Arguably, several different sections claim the best seats, ranging from a private box office, sitting on the center line, in the neutral blue line area, to the right behind the goalie. There are good and bad arguments for all these seats.
What it boils down to is what kind of hockey fan you are. This will determine where the best seats in the stadium are for you and which will maximize your enjoyment of the game. Let’s take a look at each of these sections so you can decide the best seats for a hockey game.
Suites and Box Seats
Suites provide a great view of the ice from almost any direction. You can see plays develop and enjoy the flow of the game. The drawback is that you are farther from the ice, so seeing players’ names and numbers and watching the flow of the puck is more complicated.
On the plus side, you usually will have a personal catering service, private bathrooms, and television monitors to see the details and instant replays. Suits are ideal for a group or party situation.
Box seats are usually at the top of the lower level with much the same benefits but not as private. Unlike the suites, you will have an assigned seat but can roam within your box to a private bar/social area if you choose.
If your goal in watching a live hockey game is to share the experience with friends, these seats are a great choice. You can mingle with your friends during the game and not spend every minute between periods waiting in line for the public restrooms.
On the Boards
The exact opposite of a box or suite sits right up on the glass. Seats at ice level provide a spectator with the experience of being in the game. When the puck is in your area, you can hear the players, feel the boards flex on a good check, see the players sweat, and experience the struggle on the ice close-up.
Your view of the game will vary depending on where you are in the arena. The corners or behind the net are the best areas for this kind of action. Most of the checking and heavy-hitting goes in the corners and behind the net. But don’t pound on the glass. That’s just annoying.
Speaking of behind the net, your view on the glass behind the goal is the best in the arena regarding scoring. You’ll be able to determine if the goal was valid before the red light goes on behind the goalie.
The Red Line
The red line is the dead center of the ice. Many fans like to be dead center. It allows you to see both the offensive and the defensive plays, even when the teams switch goals.
The players’ benches and penalty boxes are along the center of the ice. There’s a certain thrill in being close to the benches where you can see the players interact and the coaches pace back and forth. You can watch players dive over the board and switch positions with their teammates.
The penalty boxes sit next to the bench. It’s great fun to taunt the opposing team when they are assigned a penalty. A huge part of hockey is the mental game. Home team fans taunt the opposing team when penalties are handed out. There’s no better place to do that than right behind the penalty box at the red line.
The Neutral Zone
Most recommend seats about halfway up the lower level of the stands at either end of the neutral zone. The lower level starts at the ice and goes up to what is usually the main concourse. The neutral zone is the center between the blue lines on the ice. Halfway up will give you the best overall view of the entire ice while still seeing the players and reading their jerseys.
The upper level usually has the cheapest tickets. It will also give you the view of the play closest to what you see on TV. You can follow the flow of the game easily and see all the action. Once again, the neutral zone is where to be if you want to see all the action on the ice. Think of it as a bird’s eye view. Some of the best fans are regulars of the upper-level seats.
Recapping the Best Seats
Boxes and Suites – these are for fans who want to watch the game and socialize. These are the best seats for those who wish to pay a little more but not wait in line for food and beverages or restrooms. These are premier seats for a fun atmosphere but lack the true fan experience of being packed into stadium seats.
On the Boards – is the place to be for up-close action. You will be sacrificing your view of plays on the far side of the rink. However, you will not miss the opposing player’s face being pressed to the glass as the enforcer on your favorite team crushes him.
The Red Line – center ice is the best for an excellent overall view of the action. You will have the best views of all the action, no matter if your team is on offense or defense. If you love to watch the players interact on and off the ice, this is where you need to sit.
The Neutral Zone – die-hard fans love sitting at the blue line. In two of the three periods of play, you will be able to watch your home team score or defend, depending on your preference. Root for your team as you watch them score, or be the first to cheer when your goalie makes a big save.
The Rafters – the nosebleed seats. There’s something to be said for being up in the rafters, having the best view of everything that’s going on in the game. You won’t be crowded unless the game is sold out. You will be amongst die-hard fans, and you don’t have to pay a lot for these seats.