J.D. MacArthur Arena/Bayshore Community Centre
Owen Sound Attack
Owen Sound, Ontario
Owen Sound's arena is aging, and aside from a recent renovation, feels like it was constructed in a completely spartan fashion. Yet therein lies the charm, as Owen Sound feels like a true hockey rink, filled with true hockey fans. Great facilities, charming employees, and a friendly small-town atmosphere all also contribute to Owen Sound's appeal. If there was ever a building in the OHL in which the people of the city singlehandedly raised the bar for the team, this is it.
Architecture: Grade C
A newly-installed neon sign out front adds to the building terrifically, livening up a boring and plain-looking building. The setting of the arena helps too, located as it is directly on the shore of the Sound itself. It's a shame that they had to go and build something so plain. They should have gone all out and built something fabulous, as locations don't come much better.
Interior Layout and Design: Grade C
The main entrance is on ground-level, but there is really only one concourse, located around the top of the seating area. It's narrow. The old main entrance to the building still exists down the one side, but is sadly underused now. Getting around isn't ridiculously difficult, but it isn't very easy either.
Seating: Grade A
Seats are older plastic, but they're very, very comfortable, and leg-room is among the best in the league. Views are also great, as the angle of the seating is just about perfect. For a smaller and older arena, you can't really do much better than Owen Sound.
Scoreboard: Grade C
The scoreboard is older standard issue. The sound system is average, although the country music blaring over can be grating for those visitors who don't own pickup trucks or shot-guns.
Arena Employees: Grade A+
Much like the fans, Owen Sound's employees are terrific. Perfectly cordial and helpful small-town people, they love their team and their building and are happy to show it off to visitors. From the kids who work the concessions to the middle-aged team store employees to the older gents who sell programs, you won't find a better group of employees.
Facilities: Grade A
The recent renovation added a lot to the building; washrooms are now clean and accessible. There is a full-sized and free parking lot outside the building, although it's a bit difficult to get out of after games. The team store is a bit small, but it's nice that they have one at all. Overall, a good set of facilities.
Atmosphere: Grade B
The atmosphere in Owen Sound isn't quite perfect for hockey; the fans are generally quiet and unexcitable. Yelling too loudly would go out of place in such a friendly atmosphere, anyway. While the Bayshore isn't the loudest or the nicest or the newest arena in the OHL, it's by far the friendliest. While the Bayshore may not be a classic hockey atmosphere, you're guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face, even if your team loses.