Best Places to Sit at a Hockey Game

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Best Places to Sit at a Hockey Game

This blog post examines the NHL arena and provides guidance for selecting your seats.

So which seats are right for you?

First make sure you check the amenities that come with the seats you are looking at and know the people you are going to the game with. When going to a game with true fans of the game or with first time guest, amenities will become an important factor in selecting your seats.

NHL arenas have plenty of seats to go around. There really is no bad seat at an NHL arena, but not every seat is a great one. The following is our view of the best places to sit at an NHL arena.

No. 1: Behind-the-Goal within 5 Rows of the Glass

Positives: Lower-bowl seats are generally exceptional, but some may be preferable to others. If you want the up-close action along with excellent sight lines, this section is for you. Within five rows, you can clearly see each player that skates near the goal, especially behind the net. Also, with such proximity to the net, you can clearly see every goal scored at your respective end. Hearing the puck whistling toward the net, players smashing each other along the boards, and priceless goals and celebrations make this seat one of the best in the house.

Negatives: As there are with just about any seat, this one has its drawbacks as well. While you can see all the way down the ice, you may not be able to clearly see every goal at the other end of the ice. It can also be difficult to see in the corners on the near side of the ice. Additionally these seats tend to be associated with a high price tag. The price of glass seats can be more than double the cost of rows 2-4. As a result, a glass seat in the end zones is recommended for a one-time experience. Prices tend to drop if you are willing to move back a row or two. You will not go wrong with these down-low end-zone seats.

Final opinion: We highly recommend looking for lower-bowl end-zone seats between rows two and five. On occasion, you can find a ticket (or tickets) there for a reasonable price.

No. 2: Lower-Bowl Sideline Seats at least 10 Rows up from the Glass or more

Positives: If you want lower-bowl seats that are a less costly than our No. 1, these seats may be for you. You may be wondering: Why would higher up in the lower bowl sideline be better than closer to the ice? As you move up the stairs away from the ice, you will notice that more of the ice view is unobstructed by the plexiglass, player benches and penalty box area. These areas can disrupt sight lines from clearly seeing all of the action on the ice. Visibility is better the higher up you sit within the lower bowl. You can also see the benches and /or penalty box from afar.

Also, the typical price tag of these seats is not bad relative to other seat prices in the arena. Why? If you look at most price charts for NHL games at arenas, or pricing on the secondary market, the rows near the ice are the most expensive. As you move up, they become less expensive. By the way, higher up in the lower bowl also means you are closer to the concessions and the exits.

Negatives: You are farther away from the action on the ice. The sight line is also slightly obstructed. While you can see a good majority of the rink, you may not be able to find the puck along the near side of the boards. However, this is true for any seat and the drawbacks of this type of seat do not outweigh the positives.

Final opinion: We recommend rows 10-15 (or any seats up to the top row).

No. 3: Club-Level Seats (or 200 section seats depending on what type of arena you are visiting)

Positives: These seats are excellent for those seeking a Club seat with premium food/drink options and other upgraded amenities. Padded seats, in-seat wait service and other exclusive opportunities abound within most Clubs inside NHL arenas. However, there are other facets that make this an awesome seat option as well. Club seats are typically between the lower bowl and the upper bowl. Depending on where you sit, there are excellent sight opportunities. Sitting even higher up than the top of the lower bowl provides even better vision of the action of the ice. If you sit in the Club level along the sidelines, you can see just about every play on the ice while enjoying club features. As a bonus, there are also terrific views of the giant video board.

Negatives: For starters, the price of Club seats tends to be more than a lot of sections at NHL arenas due to their exclusivity. Also, a majority of club seats are not very close to the ice, so you are a distance away from the action occurring on the rink. If you are willing to pay the price for an upgraded hockey experience, these seats could be for you at your next NHL game.

Final opinion: For a high-end experience, these are terrific seats; however, they do come with a higher price.

No. 4: Upper-Level Seats especially Sideline

Positives: You may question why this would be a good seat if it is so high up. Upper level seats are indeed farther up, but they do provide an excellent view of the overall ice surface. In fact, if you are paying close attention, you can sometimes even see plays develop from up top. If you are the analytical type about sports and plays within games, this could be a great seat for you. You can see everything on the ice. Even in the upper bowl end-zone seats, you can see the skaters, the benches and plays form right before your very eyes. Upper-Bowl views are usually the least-expensive seats inside NHL arenas and are economical if you want to take the entire family to the game. Throughout our experience attending NHL games within different venues throughout the United States and Canada, we can tell you that some of the most passionate fans reside in the upper bowl sections. Sitting in the lower bowl, we have heard team chants and cheering starting from up top in the 300s level seats. If you are looking for diehard, passionate fans, the upper bowl is not a bad location at all. Fans who sit in upper level are most passionate.

Negatives: These seats are quite a distance from the action. You do not always feel the crushing of hits along the boards or see the rubber puck on the ice surface. Also, being high up from the main level, the concessions and exits are typically farther away from your seat location, so there may be long lines leaving the arena after the game concludes.

Final opinion: Upper-bowl seats are an excellent economic buy, especially for those who are looking for an inexpensive seat or want to take the whole family. You can see almost everything on the ice, especially if you are along the sidelines in the lower rows. As mentioned before, you have the opportunity to watch plays and strategies develop as well. They may be farther away from all the action, but they are a wonderful buy for the price.

No. 5: Lower-Bowl Corner Seats and High-Up End-Zone Seats

Positives: Corner seats can be a terrific buy, but it depends where they are located. The higher up you are, the better views of the ice surface abound. Seats in the middle of the end-zone sections can be a good bargain; however, you need to be aware that you have the plexiglass and the protective net to deal with. More importantly, in a corner seat, the curvature of the glass can create some distortion from viewing the action on the ice. The price tag for higher rows, as is the case with lower-bowl sideline seats, is less than the lower rows. This area is not as good of a seat as sideline lower bowl, and is generally reflected in the price on the primary and secondary markets.

Negatives: It really depends on where you are sitting within the lower-bowl end-zone sections. Down low, the views are good; however, the middle rows of the sections do not feature spectacular views due to plexiglass and protective netting obstructing sightline. Finally, the higher rows in the end zone are quality because, for the most part, the glass and net predicaments are not as noticeable.

Recommendation: Depending on where you are sitting in the lower bowl end zone, these seats can be a great buy. The higher rows in the end zone are an excellent buy and, typically, the seats feature an affordable price for a lower bowl location.

No. 6: Sideline Glass Seats not behind the Benches or Penalty Box

Positives: These seats are excellent for a one-time experience. You have a superb view of what is taking place right in front of you. They are excellent for picture taking in that particular region and sometimes, the glass seats come with special features such as club access, in-seat wait service and other perks. The views directly in front of you are unparalleled as the action forms right before your very eyes. The seat does have a price tag, but for one occasion, it can be worth the money for some unforgettable moments.

Negatives: The drawback of this seat is that, while you have an excellent view of what is directly in front of you, it is extremely difficult to see other spots on the ice. The plexiglass can create issues of viewing the action on the ice that are not ideal for watching the game. You clearly see maybe 1/10 of the entire game and the other part usually consists of looking up at the scoreboard examining the hockey play at the other end of the ice. Also, this seat comes with an expensive price tag and may seem nice being denoted as a glass seat, but multiple purchases of said seat is not worth it.

Recommendation: This seat is excellent for a one-time experience at an NHL arena. The seat can also come with special benefits, so buy this seat for a special occasion. Other than that, there is not a whole lot to get excited about with this selection.

No. 7: Glass Seats behind the Benches and Penalty Boxes

Positives: This is honestly a great seat, but only if it’s for yet another one-time experience. The experience of sitting up close with the team is a very cool thing. You can get some excellent pictures of the team from right behind the bench. If you do sit close to the team, you may be able to give players high fives or perhaps a quick autograph before the game starts. If you’re lucky, you may even have the ability to receive a puck tossed over the glass during pregame as well. Also, if you are behind the penalty box, you may have a clear view of what is taking place directly in front of you, but other locations on the ice are a different story.

Negatives: The negatives of this seat location are quite extensive. First off, you cannot see much of the action on the ice, especially behind the benches. Most of the players and coaches are quite tall and can obstruct views from a majority of the rink surface. It is difficult to see goals on either end of the ice, and the plexiglass does not make it any easier. Near the benches and the penalty box, the glass has curvatures, which prevent clear views of the ice. If game action is your top priority, these seats are actually not the best fit. Plus, these seats usually carry a high price tag. After your first time sitting in this location, we think you will agree there are better seats in the house to see the game.

Final Opinion: This seat is good for a one-time experience of getting up close with the players and coaches or the penalty box, but as for multiple ticket purchases, it is not a great buy. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to see the play on the ice, so I would only recommend this seat for a special outing.

*Disclaimer: Not all arenas have the exact same seating configuration. Check out the seating chart of the stadium you are looking to attend a hockey game at or contact MAB Tickets for questions on seating in different arenas.

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