The folks over at StadiumJourney.com took in a sporting event at more than 1,700 venues last year and they recently unveiled their "Top 100 Sports Experiences of 2013" for the United States and Canada, and Minnesota's best stadiums, arenas and ballparks fared quite well.
The No. 1 stadium experience for the website's writers was AMSOIL Arena – home of the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs men's and women's hockey teams, as well as host site for plenty of high school hockey games. It received five stars for concessions, atmosphere, location, access, ticket prices, and extras, and four stars for fans.
AMSOIL Arena was designed to take the history of hockey in Duluth and capture it all in one place, and capture it, they did. With no expense spared, AMSOIL Arena challenges the likes of (the University of North Dakota's) Ralph Engelstad Arena long considered to be the best arena in college hockey, for the title. While Amsoil may not surpass Ralph Engelstad in terms of atmosphere, it has the means to give it a run-for-its-money.
If you ever find yourself in Duluth, do yourself a favor and catch a game at AMSOIL Arena. Whether the game you attend is a closely contested game or not, you will walk out of Amsoil Arena feeling like you got your money's worth for the experience alone.
Here's how the top 10 played out.
- AMSOIL Arena – Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs
- Daytona International Speedway – Daytona 500
- Compton Family Ice Arena – Notre Dame hockey
- Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis Colts
- Fenway Park – Boston Red Sox
- Heinz Field – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Xcel Energy Center – Minnesota Wild
- Notre Dame Stadium – Notre Dame football
- AT&T Center – San Antonio Spurs
- Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Baltimore Orioles
The Xcel Energy Center finished seventh overall and No. 1 among NHL arenas. Mariucci Arena came in at No. 15 overall and No. 3 among college hockey venues. Target Field came in at No. 61 overall and No. 7 among MLB parks.
The Metrodome, Target Center and TCF Bank Stadium didn't make the cut, although the website doesn't identify all of the stadiums they visited.
In 2011, Business Insider released a list of the top 100 venues in sports and Target Field (78) and Mariucci Arena (38) were the only Minnesota venues to make the cut.
In 2012, TIME voted the Metrodome the worst stadium in the United States, calling it a "collapse-prone" venue.