First Arena – Elmira, New York

General Impression: Elmira and the First Arena have always impressed me with their support of hockey.  Upstate New York is one of the hotbeds in the U.S. for hockey, with many differing levels existing within a few hours drive of each other.  Elmira was a suprise and welcome edition to that landscape.  Originally housing a team in the United Hockey League, with geographic rivals in Binghamton to the east, the ECHL Jackals still draw very well in an area that at first glance wouldn’t seem as though they could.  The arena itself is of appropriate size for the area, with a practice rink attached off the back end (which is utilized by the local youth hockey organization regularly).  The only concourse only goes around 3/4 of the way, creating an interesting access point for the sections on the end near the locker rooms.  To get to this area of seating, make sure you time it right – they actually close off access just before and just after the periods begin/end, since the referees and visiting team has to walk across this part of the concourse to get to their locker room.

Food and Libations: Four concession stands dot the concourse – two at the ‘red line’ on either side, and two in the corners.  Usual rink fare here (hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, pretzels), as well as draft beer and soda.  Two portable beer stands are also present at similar spots down each side concourse as well, and these both offer a ‘larger’ selection of libations than the concession stands do.

Parking: There is a parking ramp about a block north of the rink, as well as at least one surface lot a block west of the rink, both charging $5.00 for a spot.  Last game we went to there (4/12) we were actually able to find a spot on the street at a meter.

Programs/Scorecards: Programs were for sale in the gift shop for $2.00.  If you don’t want all of those ads, and just want the lineups, there were roster sheets on wire racks just inside of all of the entrances.

Complaints/Gripes: To tell you the truth, I gots nuttin’ for this catagory.  Nice, small rink.  Passionate fans.  Cold beer.  What more could you want?

Yes/No/Maybe: This one stays a ‘yes’ for us.  Its close enough to home, and a nice change of scenery, that if the timing was right we’d make the drive.

Pictures: Pictures on Tim and Jill’s Travelogue

This page was created on April 16, 2012




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