Almost every NHL team has had a new building since the Saddledome opened

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
10 months ago
After the multi-party announcement of a new Calgary arena deal, and the provincial election results that all-but-confirmed the deal, many in the hockey world are breathing a sigh of relief. The Calgary Flames have been playing out of the building originally known as the Olympic Saddledome since 1983.
Since the Saddledome first opened its doors, 36 newer buildings have opened throughout the league and regularly hosted NHL games.
And yeah, we made a list.
1993-94FloridaMiami Arenaopened in 1988
1993-94Tampa BayThunderdomeopened in 1990; was a baseball stadium
1993-94AnaheimHonda Centeropened as Arrowhead Pond
1993-94San JoseSAP Centeropened as San Jose Arena
1994-95St. LouisEnterprise Centeropened as Kiel Center
1994-95ChicagoUnited Center
1995-96VancouverRogers Arenaopened as General Motors Place
1995-96BostonTD Garden
1995-96OttawaCanadian Tire Centreopened as the Palladium; debut game was midway through 1995-96 season
1995-96MontrealBell Centredebut game was late in 1995-96 season
1996-97PhoenixAmerica West Arenaopened in 1992
1996-97Tampa Bay [2]Amalie Arenaopened as the Ice Palace
1996-97BuffaloKeyBank Centeropened as Marine Midland Arena
1996-97PhiladelphiaWells Fargo Centeropened as CoreStates Center
1997-98WashingtonCapital One Arenaopened as MCI Center
1998-99NashvilleBridgestone Arenaopened in 1996 as Nashville Arena
1998-99Florida [2]FLA Live Arenaopened as National Car Rental Center
1998-99TorontoScotiabank Arenaopened as Air Canada Centre; debut game was midway through 1998-99 season
1999-00ColoradoBall Arenaopened as Pepsi Center
1999-00Los AngelesCrypto.com Arenaopened as Staples Center
1999-00CarolinaPNC Arenaopened as Raleigh Entertainment & Sports Arena
1999-00AtlantaPhillips Arena
2000-01ColumbusNationwide Arena
2000-01MinnesotaXcel Energy Center
2001-02DallasAmerican Airlines Center
2003-04Phoenix [2]Gila River Arenaopened as Glendale Arena
2007-08New JerseyPrudential Center
2010-11PittsburghPPG Paints Arenaopened as Consol Energy Center
2011-12Winnipeg [2]Canada Life Centreopened in 2004 as MTS Centre
2015-16NY IslandersBarclays Centeropened in 2012
2016-17EdmontonRogers Place
2017-18VegasT-Mobile Arenaopened in 2016
2017-18DetroitLittle Caesars Arena
2021-22NY Islanders [2]UBS Arena
2021-22SeattleClimate Pledge Arenamassive renovation of former Key Arena
2022-23Arizona [3]Mullett Arena
Since the Saddledome opened in 1983, every NHL team except for the New York Rangers has played regular in a newer building than the ‘Dome. And the Rangers have conducted extensive, expensive renovations to Madison Square Garden – not quite as extensive as the ones that turned Key Arena into basically a brand-new building in Seattle, but extensive enough to not make it feel like a building that opened in 1968.
Heck, a few of teams (Arizona, Florida, Tampa, Islanders, Atlanta/Winnipeg) have played in multiple newer buildings than the Saddledome, which drives that number up north of the amount of NHL franchises that exist now. (And let’s give a shout out to Tampa, who have played out of the Thunderdome and the Ice Palace, two amazingly-named buildings.)
Now, a good chunk of the 36 newer buildings were new builds for expansion teams: a full dozen of them were buildings that were built in anticipation of (or as part of) an expansion process – or a relocation process, in the case of the Hurricanes. Two more buildings already existed when Winnipeg moved to Phoenix and Atlanta moved to Winnipeg. But that means 22 buildings were built to give existing NHL teams newer digs.
Finally, you can kinda see the patterns of development throughout the league. From 1993 and 2000, most of the league got fancy new buildings. And based on a 30-35 year lifespan for buildings, it feels likely that we’ll start seeing either massive renovations in the early ’90s builds to bring them up to current standards… or the beginning of another wave of arena development throughout the league.
But if nothing else, at least the decades-long arena saga in Calgary seems close to a resolution.

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