Of the new rinks this has got to be one of, if not the best! And you'd expect nothing less from Montreal, the mecca of hockey.
Recently renamed "Belle Centre", the capacity here is 21,500 and the place is immaculate. Certainly the most impressive arena I've been in. They've tried to keep up the nostalgia of the old Forum here. That's something that just couldn't be done. But check out the busts of all the old Canadiens greats on the lower concourse. They really did go out of their way to commemorate the winning tradition of the franchise in this place. And they did a good job. The banners in the rafters speak for themselves. No banners for Conference and Division championships, only Stanley Cup banners. And only the greatest of greats have their numbers hanging from the ceiling. It can be enough to give you goosebumps.
All of that aside the atmosphere here is electric. Incredibly intense and passionate fans. Very knowledgable. And the bilingual aspect is cool too. You've got francophones and anglophones coming together to cheer the same team feverishly. To experience that is a feeling you won't get anywhere else, except perhaps in Ottawa but that's not anything like this. Even when the place isn't full you still have upwards of 18,000 in the place. Concessions are quite good if expensive and well laid out so as to keep the lines down. Make an effort to try a hot dog. The bun is toasted and they're made in a way distinct to Quebec. You may be startled by the liquor conessions all over the building. Nice if you're fixin to drink some hard liquor.
Bathrooms are well laid out and there's a big indoor smoking area. The amenities are well looked after here. The place is easy to get to, right off the freeway, and easily reached be the metro. But parking is congested and getting out of here after the game ain't going to be easy.
Tickets aren't cheap, but then I'm from Toronto and all places have cheaper tickes than TO. Tickets are still not to hard to get, but as the Habs improve availability of tickets will decrease sharply!
This place is one of the best places to see a game I've been! The only knocks on it would be that it's not the old Forum. But what can you do. If they had to move out of the old place and build a new rink than they did it well. They built a place that is worthy of housing the most storied franchise in NHL history, and you still feel it when you walk in the door.