Honda Center – Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim Duck: A Silver Anniversary Celebration
This season (2018-2019) marks the 25th anniversary of Anaheim Ducks hockey in Southern California. With the rival Kings coming off their first Stanley Cup appearance along with the release of the Mighty Ducks movie series, the Ducks arrival to the SoCal hockey scene in 1993 could not have come at a better time as interest in ice hockey was approaching a fever peak.
Opened as the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim and now known as The Honda Center, fans still refer to the home of the Ducks as The Pond. Some of hockey’s greats such as Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne, Scott Niedermayer and Corey Perry have graced the ice here. In their 25 years, the Ducks have won six division championships, made two Stanley Cup appearances and were the first California based NHL team to win the Cup in 2007.
Food & Beverage 4
The food options at the Honda Center are varied. Some of the varied choices are bbq ribs with slaw & corn or bbq pulled pork or bbq brisket sandwich from Outlaws Smokehouse. Melissa’s Cart offers healthy options ranging from Hummus & Veggies, Chicken Caesar Salad, Seedless Grapes.
Should you enter the arena through the grand entrance on the south end, you will find a food court and marketplace that serves up a diverse dining selection as well, from Half Rotisserie Chicken, Chimichurri Salmon, Sushi, Braised Bacon Tacos, to House Made Pastrami Sandwich on a Ciabatta Roll.
7-Up soda products are available throughout the venue. The best value is the souvenir cup, which is a commemorative Ducks sports bottle that allows you free same-day refills throughout the entire game.
Both domestic and imported, as well as IPA’s are also available throughout the venue, from Budweiser and Coors products to locally brewed Golden Road IPA’s.
Like most anything in Southern California, the atmosphere at the Honda Center can be laid back. Though the arena has somewhat showed its age, recent enhancements such as the addition of a new food court and an updated video board have helped improve the game day experience.
The Ducks do an outstanding job of celebrating their team history as evidenced by the banners displayed throughout the concourse, as well as the nods traced to their very beginning by both the organization and its fans.
The area around the Honda Center does not offer much in terms of dining options. Directly across the street from the Honda Center is JT Schmid’s Restaurant & Brewery. For both informal and formal pre/postgame dining Hooters and The Catch are also nearby.
If you do find yourself staying in Anaheim, Downtown Disney, a short 5-10 minute drive from the Honda Center, is located between Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks, offers a variety of dining and entertainment options. No admission to either theme park is required.
Aside from the Disney Resorts, several lodging options can also be found within vicinity of the Disneyland area.
Ducks fans are a good mix of family oriented to diehards. Among the loyal supporters you will find a great number who have a great appreciation of the team’s roots, with many of these fans still sporting the original jerseys dating back to their early days under the Disney regime.
Because there are a lot of family friendly fans, visiting team fans, which there are plenty of in Southern California, will not feel intimidated.
Arriving to the Honda Center from any point in Southern California is not difficult. Situated right off of I-5 on the 57 freeway, the highways run right by the property. However, as this is Southern California, the biggest issue here is traffic. Depending where you are coming from, you will want to give yourself more than ample time to arrive to the Honda Center. I cannot stress this enough. Traffic in Southern California, especially the 5 freeway coming from Los Angeles, is beyond brutal and is a test of one’s patience.
If looking for alternative ways to arrive to the Honda Center, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, across the street from the Honda Center, houses public transit options from various Orange County Transit Authority lines, as well as Amtrak, with trains running toward both San Diego and Los Angeles.
Once inside the concourses are a bit narrow when compared to other newer venues. Accessing the upper levels requires walking up stairs as the venue is void of any escalators while elevators are restricted to those with mobility issues.
Return on Investment 4
Like with any professional sporting event, ticket prices will vary and can change at any notice. Prices for games can start as low as $20, a really good bargain compared to most NHL teams.
Of course, depending on various factors such as team performance, opponent and day of week, tickets can also be bought throughout various third party sites often times with a considerable markdown.
Tickets for games against upper tier opponents, particularly against the division rivals Las Vegas Golden Knights, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings can have a slight to significant markup so it’s best to always keep a lookout on the ticket prices.
As you walk through the concourses, particularly the upper concourse, you will notice a Southern California flavor to the Anaheim hockey experience.
Not only will you see banners and signage of Ducks greats and memorable moments, along the walls you will notice murals that are a reflection of the vibrant Southern California lifestyle. The murals depict images of skateboarders and palm trees, as well as skateboard decks and Ducks themed surfboards.
Also lining the walls along the upper concourse are uniforms of various high schools throughout the southland.
In staying with this year’s 25th anniversary theme, merchandise from the Mighty Ducks movie series is also available at the team store as well as merchandise stands throughout the venue.
The Ducks have had plenty of success to celebrate during their first 25 years of existence. Going to a Ducks game certainly has that Southern California feel. Most nights, fans will not find themselves dressed in excessive layers while entering the arena.
If you’re a hockey fan who should find yourself passing through Southern California during the season, you will certainly want to check out a game in Anaheim. Chances are great that the natural elements will already provide a warm winter-like experience.
Ayres Hotel Orange
2550 E Katella Ave
Anaheim, CA 92806
Latest Crowd Reviews
By Chris Green 1/8/2017 Going to an Anaheim Ducks game is a must-do if you are either a diehard hockey enthusiast, or are a big-time fan of the team itself. However, for someone visiting the city of LA or even Southern California in general, the hype of &quotThe Pond&quot may not match the inside of the arena itself. But do not discount the power of the energy the fans give off. It can still be highly enjoyable while taking in one of the league&#039s consistently best teams over the last decade.
Really nice facility and fan base. The Ducks are celebrating their 25th season this year. All kinds of food at expected expensive prices. Organization allows fans to watch warm ups down at ice level. Music level not too loud. Ice arena is kept cool so bring layers. No escalators, just elevators (sign says for club level and those needing assistance – but anyone can use) and stairs. Steep upper 400 level and minimal legroom. Great fans who start chants all by themselves without having to be prompted.