Every year three of my good friends and I take a road trip north to Edmonton for the sole purpose of ruining oiler fan's evenings, and hopefully gloating about a win. So far we have had pretty good luck in terms of our win loss ratio but it does beg an interesting question. Which is a better venue?
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The Saddledome although old was renovated back before the olympics in order to make it more modern, if you travel to Rexall you can see this huge disparrity between the amenities offered at Rexall and what the Saddledome offers. So if I had to give out points for that I'd say the Dome takes it.
On the other hand, and personally more importantly, I feel from the limited times I've been there, Rexall is the better place to watch the game itself. You are on a more vertical incline, so baring a tall big head in front of you, it really brings you into the game and atmosphere a lot more.
But Going to games, at least for me is an all inclusive package, it's the experiance. As much as buying a hotdog at Fenway or throwing squid in detroit you have to look at the entire night. In that regard just being downtown and being the heart the pumps the Red Mile (17th ave) the Saddeldome is by far the winner here.
The "blue mile" is kind of a joke due to how far it is away from Rexall, on a side note I would have loved for the oiler fans to have some up with something original like "the oil slick" or anything that didn't end in "mile". When we start singing the national anthem for our singer you can call us unoriginal and that's fair.
At the end of the day though, both are great venues, I think due to the fan base mainly, but I think both cities deserve and want new arenas. The word on the street here is Flames' brass is already putting tenders out for this project to estimate cost, the ownership group in Edmonton is now being pressured to build because if it's denial of Katz's bid which included a new arena (hopefully more central). So I'll call it a draw for now between the two, just for the fact the Dome is a great place to watch hockey as well but the seating angle is more shallow, if that's the difference it's not huge.
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