Mississauga St. Michael's Majors
Mississauga's arena was once the best of the OHL's modern medium-large arenas, but has been surpassed by newer arenas in the past decade. But no matter, Mississauga still stands out due to its interesting architecture, well-thought out design, and top-class facilities. It's a shame that the team doesn't sell out more often.
Architecture: Grade A
A sweeping roofline, tan brick and aluminum panels make up the outside design of the Hershey Centre, and create a building that is progressive and modern while also retaining some class. The building also has well-landscaped grounds and a fine main entrance featuring a large flagpole. As modern design goes, it's tasteful and well-executed.
Interior Layout and Design: Grade A
Mississauga features a tremendously wide concourse with numerous entrances into the seating area at about the mid-level mark of the seating. Traffic bottlenecks nowhere, and all washrooms and sections are well-marked. Again, the architects deserve full marks for their intelligent design.
Seating: Grade B
Views are pretty new-building standard. There are no obstructions, but no terrifically good views either. Seats are all a uniformly bland shade of maroon, but at least they're comfortable.
Scoreboard: Grade B
A standard OHL board with a small ticker running underneath it. The ticker is a good idea but many of its announcements are out of date. Perhaps they think no one is paying attention? The sound system is good.
Arena Employees: Grade B
Much like their city, Mississauga's employees are pleasant, bland and faceless. There is nothing about them to cause offense, but nothing that stands out in my memory as being particularly outstanding either.
Facilities: Grade A+
If there's one thing that Mississauga does outstandingly well, it's provide facilities. The parking lot is gigantic and free. The washrooms are spotless and plentiful. The team provides an overabundance of concession stands and souvenir kiosks. I find it difficult to use the powers of creative writing to fawn over clean urinals, but you get the idea.
Atmosphere: Grade C
The fans that attend the games seem to realise that they're in one of the best buildings in the OHL. It's a shame that there aren't more of them. Empty seats abound and the atmosphere suffers as a result. If suburban Torontonians ever discover the quality hockey on their doorstep and start packing 6000 people into the Hershey Centre, it could easily be the class of the league. As it is now, it's a palace fit for a King that sits half-empty.