Sunday, 20 March 2011

John Labatt Centre

So technically the JLC is not my first OHL arena (it's my 5th actually) but I was there today so it'll be my first post.

First off as a Kitchener Rangers fan its hard for me to enjoy the JLC. Walking in to that building is almost like walking into the gates of hell when you're wearing a Rangers jersey. Alright so maybe thats a bit of a stretch, but I digress.

First thing; you have to pay for parking. I understand that this is quickly becoming the standard everywhere, but as long as its still free to park at the Aud, I can complain about it at other arenas. Walking up to the building and it looks amazing! From the outside it looks like a grand, old style building. It has similar brick colours to that of Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. It really looks great from the outside. Walking in to the building and it feels modern and fresh. The restaurant in the concourse is great, but selling fresh sliced deli sandwiches, chef prepared, with gourmet mustards? Thats a little weird at a hockey game, give me a beer and a hot dog and move on.

Walking into the arena and it's a little bit boring inside. Lots of ad's everywhere you look. The scoreboard is again modern and nice. I think it's been replaced since the building opened because I remember seeing pictures of the arena when it opened and it had the same one as the Aud. The speakers drowned out all the noise and you had to yell to get your voice heard to the people sitting around you.

Now the fans... hmm. Well for a rink that can hold 3,000 more than the Aud, it was significantly quieter. Take for example; a regular occurrence in Kitchener is when an opposing fan cheers for their team, they are immediately drowned out by Ranger fans. However at the JLC, I was worried that if I shouted Go Rangers Go, I'd wake them up! They really need to do something to excite those fans and make them scream for their team.

All in all the arena itself was nice, however I was very dissapointed by the fans. I guess the Aud really does have the loudest in the OHL. But we'll see, apparently Erie gets pretty loud too.

Hey check out Oliver and I on Basement Banter. We've got a new episode in the next couple weeks.