Sunday, February 20, 2005
What was amazing was the venue. Because Michigan travels so many fans, and Notre Dame's arena is so small (under 5,000 capacity), the game was moved to War Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne, home of the UHL Komets. I had not been to the Coliseum in about 25 years, and wow, has it changed!
Talk about a remarkable makeover. They have added 2,000 new seats, raising the capacity to over 10,000. To accomplish this, they literally raised the roof and added a new level, complete with luxury boxes and suites. Gone are the obstructed view seats. No posts to be found anywhere. All the seats are new and comfortably wide, actually roomier than those at The Joe or the United Center.
You enter and exit through a large glass atrium complete with escalators (no more damn stairs to climb!). Very similar to the Palace of Auburn Hills. There is some irony here, since the Coliseum was originally built to house the Pistons, who showed their gratitude by moving to Detroit two years later.
All in all, it was a terrific experience. This has to be one of the best venues in minor league hockey. Hopefully, ND will be smart enough to make this a yearly venture!