Wednesday, August 15, 2007

WCHA Arena No. 7 – World Arena

Three weeks ago, the WCHA Blog kicked off its list of which WCHA arenas are the best. I'm basing my list off of three criteria (Arena, Atmosphere, and Crowd). For a detailed list of what these three items mean to me, click here and scroll down a bit.

Here is a list of the arenas that I've already covered:

10. Sullivan Arena - Anchorage, AK
9. John MacInnes Student Ice Arena – Houghton, MI
8. Alltel Center – Mankato, MN

This week, its arena No. 7: the World Arena, which is home to Colorado College Tigers.


For hockey games, the World Arena holds just shy of 7,800 people, making it one of the larger arenas in the WCHA. Because it holds that many people, the arena features seating on all four sides of the ice. Most of the seats are very good, although some of the seats that are high in the corners on the “long sides” of the ice are almost behind the goal-line, which makes for tough viewing at times. It’s often tough to secure seats in the lower bowl because of the Tigers’ strong season ticket base, but any seat in that level is very good.

There is plenty of parking for those attending a game at the World Arena, as the facility features a large parking lot right in front of the arena. This lot is big enough to hold everyone for the game, which is key in this case because there are not many other options nearby aside from some side streets.

The World Arena does offer a nice mix on in-arena entertainment, including a bubble-hockey table. There is also a nice arcade area, which may be nice for those traveling with youngsters. The arena also offers a nice gift-shop just inside one of the main doors, and it offers a good deal of merchandise, including official WCHA game pucks, which make for a great collectible.


I have only been to the World Arena for games where the University of Minnesota has taken on the Colorado College, and in those cases, it’s been a packed house each and every time. Because of that, I feel as I’ve experienced about as good of an environment as the World Arena can offer outside of a CC vs. DU matchup.

That being said, the arena doesn’t offer the greatest atmosphere. The ceiling in the arena is very high, which tends to give it a cavernous feel. It’s a multi-purpose facility, which tends to hurt the overall vibe the arena puts out.

The World Arena also relies heavily on piped-in rock music, which to me is a mark against it. Arenas like the Kohl Center (Madison) and Mariucci Arena (Minneapolis) are two examples of arenas that incorporate a band and for that get higher marks in this category than the World Arena does.


The person that makes up most of the crowd for Tiger games tends to be a bit on the older side, which can lead to a quieter crowd than the (usually) high number of people in the building would indicate. If the fans in the World Arena had even half the passion of the fans that fill the Kohl Center on a nightly basis, this arena would be much higher on the list.

There is an above-average student presence, which is located on the end of the arena that the visiting team defends twice. They aren’t the most vocal group of students in the WCHA, but if the Tigers get rolling, the students can make their voices heard.


The World Arena is a step above the three arenas that come before it on my list. Its’ ranking of No. 7 is more because of the high-end quality of some of the arenas ahead of it on the list, and not because the World Arena is poor.

The atmosphere and crowd aren’t the greatest, but they certainly aren’t the worst. And the arena itself is very solid, especially when you consider it’s not a hockey-only facility.

Overall Grade: B-