Ice hockey as a sport that is rich in history and tradition. However, it’s rarely considered an artistic activity or a high-brow. Outside of Canada, ice hockey is overshadowed by other college and professional sports, and nearly all NHL teams play in large multi-purpose stadiums. However, there are several undiscovered historical buildings and architectural jewels that are dedicated to hosting the fastest game on earth. From the ultra-modern ice rinks in Europe to the best college barns that host the game, we compiled a list of the best ice hockey rinks from across the globe.
Hobey Baker Memorial Rink
This exceptional ice rink gets a spot on our list due to its classic style and rich history. Established in 1922, the Baker Rink is considered the oldest NCAA stadium that is devoted only to ice hockey. The brick exterior building, curved steel trestle ceiling, and orange bleacher seating provides a historical ice hockey experience. Although there have been improvements made. Such as better locker rooms and lighting, as well as an improved scoreboard. The architecture has remained the same.
Gjovik Olympic Cavern Hall
When the 1994 Olympic Games was awarded to Norway, more ice rinks were a desperate necessity. Since more than half of the country is completely covered in rocks and mountains. The Norwegians decided to embrace their legacy and build the latest and greatest ice rink in Hovdetoppen mountain which also happened to be the most massive cavern in the world. Instead of changing the landscape, the architects decided to design all nine stories underground. Norway is the only place where you need to go subterranean to enjoy a professional ice hockey match.
Unlike most areas around the world, Vaillant Arena was initially an open ice rink. During 1970, attempts were made to cover the ice rink with sections of timber and wooden pillars to create a vaulted dome ceiling. However, it was only in 1979 when this project was finally completed, and the sides of the arena were still left open. In 1982, glass panels were added which fully enclosed the park. The Arena comes equipped with raised platforms with extra standing room along with modern elements that have been incorporated throughout the years. However, it remains an ideal venue for an ice hockey fanatic.
The Ericsson Globe
The iconic dome has been an immensely popular design for an ice hockey arena since the day Mellon Arena was established in 1958. However, Sweden decided to go one better by constructing the famous Ericsson Globe. This phenomenal globe is regarded as the largest hemispherical building in the entire world, boasting with a diameter of 361 feet.
The Ericsson is considered the national indoor arena of Sweden. It almost resembles a gigantic pink pong ball. It also represents the Sun in the Solar System of Sweden which is the most significant scale model of the Solar System across the globe. During 2010, the country decided to add a funicular to provide tourists with an impressive view of Stockholm.