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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Ten Worst Hockey Arena Names in NHL History

With today's revelation that the Pittsburgh Penguins new arena will be named after CONSOL Energy, the Internet has been filled with debate over whether or not "CONSOL Energy Center" is a good name. General consensus seems to be that, while it's not an outstanding name, it's not bad.

The Penguins could certainly do worse. Many have.

Here are our choices for the ten worst hockey arena names in NHL history:

First Union Center (Philadelphia Flyers - 1998-2003)
The name itself isn't so bad, but the fact that it shortens to the "F.U. Center" says a lot about Philly. It is now the Wachovia Center.

Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena (Carolina Hurricanes - 1999-2002)
What is now the RBC Center once had one of the longest and most generic names in the league. In this rare case adding a corporate-sponsored name was a good decision.

National Car Rental Center (Florida Panthers - 1998-2002)
This doesn't sound like a place for an NHL franchise. It sounds like the place you pick your car up on the way out of the airport. It's now known as the BankAtlantic Center, but it was also once the Office Depot Center, which is almost as bad as the National Car Rental Center.

The Thunderdome (Tampa Bay Lightning - 1993-1996)
I'm actually torn on this one, as "Thunderdome" is a pretty awesome name. Maybe the fact that the Lightning once played in a baseball stadium is tainting the name for me. This building is now home to the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball and is known as Tropicana Field.

Gaylord Entertainment Center (Nashville Predators - 1999-2007)
Okay... this one takes the cake. I know the founder of the company's last name is Gaylord, but you would think someone would have advised him not to call his company GAYLORD ENTERTAINMENT. That's just asking for ridicule. It's now (thankfully) known as the Sommet Center.

Xcel Energy Center (Minnesota Wild - 2000-present)
This one is a matter of personal choice. I hate when names exclude the "e" and capitalize the "X" in an attempt to seem cool. Minnesota, the 1990s called and they want their trend back.

Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim (Anaheim Mighty Ducks - 1993-2006)
Arrowhead Pond is a great name for a team called the Ducks. I have no problem with that. It's even better than the current name: the Honda Center. The issue I have is with the "of Anaheim" moniker stuck on the end. Can anyone tell me what's up with that? They were also called the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, rather than the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, at that point. Why? This weird convention even extends to baseball where the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" play in the "Angel Stadium of Anaheim." It's just confusing and I don't understand it. Arena (Phoenix Coyotes 2006-Present)
There are so many issues with this name. First of all, it's named after a website. That never sounds good. I understand that the .com is part of the company name, but it just sounds cheesy for corporate sponsorship. Second, there is no such word as "jobing." It's spelled "jobbing." I'm not sure if the spelling mistake is intentional or not, but it's ridiculous. Finally, as the Pensblog will tell you, jobbing someone doesn't exactly have positive connotations to it. It means to lose. Way to go Coyotes.

The Cow Palace (San Jose Sharks - 1991-1993)
This wasn't just a badly named arena, it was a bad idea. This building was actually built for rodeos and livestock expositions. In addition to being a hockey arena, a concert venue, a convention center and a basketball stadium, it still hosts rodeo championships to this day. Thankfully the San Jose Sharks quickly had a new arena built, and they now play at the HP Pavilion at San Jose. While we're on the topic, what's with the "at San Jose" at the end of that name? Did someone from Anaheim name it?

The Checkerdome (St. Louis Blues - 1977-1983)
This, like the Thunderdome, walks the fine line between awesome and terrible. It was an amazing-looking arena, and reportedly had the best sight lines in hockey, but it was named after the appearance of a dog food logo. That's right. It was built as the St. Louis Arena but when Ralston Purina bought the building and the team in 1977 the arena was renamed. I guess they thought the rhyming "Purina Arena" was a terrible name, so they instead named it after the look of the company's logo. That would be like Pepsi renaming the Colorado Avalanche's arena "The Blue and Red Swirly Thing Center." It's ridiculous. The Checkerdome had no checkers on it anywhere and, thankfully, when Purina sold the team the St. Louis Arena returned.


Wild Suck said...

Xcel Energy is an energy provider...

Anonymous said...

As long as someone is paying to put their name there who cares what it's called.. Perhaps the Penguins Potty would look good.

Anonymous said...

Air Canada Center. Shit Airline. Shit Arena. Shit City. Shit Team.

Anonymous said...


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