STADIUM DUDE’S NHL ARENA RANK: #20
- Location: St. Louis, Missouri
- Opened 1994
- Capacity 18,724
- Games attended: 3
- Last attended: 2022
The St. Louis Blues were the oldest NHL franchise to not win a Stanley Cup. They finally broke a 50+ year streak in 2019, the first year of Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s title sponsorship agreement of the rink.
The rink is on the western edge of downtown St Louis, and an easy stroll from the ballpark. The windows in the concourse offer a great view of the St. Louis skyline. There are several bars and restaurants in the general area for pre-gaming, both downtown and midtown. And the Metrolink will get you close if you’re not staying in the area and choose not to drive.
The Enterprise Center has undergone a $150 million renovation to make the arena more conducive to current fan desires. While some of the spend was for basic infrastructure, the rink also now has new seats throughout the entire building, a huge scoreboard, some more social areas for fans to hang out, and a beer garden. Not to mention cool statues of Al MacInnis, Bernie Federko, and Brett Hull.
The atmosphere is better than I anticipated. As the only winter sport in a good sports town, the Blues generally fill their barn with friendly fans who cheer for the home team without going too extreme. Unlike some East Coast clubs, Blues fans show class to opponents’ fans (except, apparently to Blackhawk fans, though I can’t speak to that personally having never been there for a Hawks-Blues battle). The 2019 Stanley Cup win should keep the place full for several years to come.
The team still employs an organist who serenades fans with W.C. Handy’s “St Louis Blues” before the game starts. “When the Blues Go Marching In” is played after every goal. Superfan Ron Baechle, a.k.a. Towel Man, adds to the goal celebration by waving his rally towel and getting the crowd to count the goals with him. And while it’s no longer being used, the 2018-19 tradition of playing Laura Brannigan’s 1982 hit “Gloria” after a win was as goofy (and as fun) a tradition as there’s been.
In the end, it’s a good building. If you ranked it anywhere from 9-26, I wouldn’t really argue.