Norfolk Scope – Norfolk Admirals

by | Jan 8, 2018 | ECHL Hockey, Joseph Oakes | 0 comments

Fanfare Score

Total Score
3.43

Crowd Score

Total Score
3.29

 

 

 

Hockey In The Mermaid City

Scope Arena is located in downtown Norfolk, and opened in 1971. It is known for its unique construction as it features the world’s largest thin shell concrete dome. Throughout its nearly 50 years of existence, Scope has hosted concerts, basketball tournaments, and athletic teams. Tenants have included the Virginia Squires (ABA), Norfolk Nighthawks (Arena Football), and the Norfolk Sharx (Indoor Soccer) all of which are now defunct.

Before the Ted Constant Convocation Center was built, Old Dominion University basketball played at the Scope. Basketball greats such as Dean Smith and Jim Boeheim all brought their teams to play ODU at Scope. Both the 1982 and 1983 NCAA Women’s Final Four was played at Scope, and currently the MEAC basketball tournament is held each March. However, the longest lasting and most successful tenant of Scope has been the ice hockey team Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL.

Food & Beverage 3

Concessions at Scope are about what you would expect from stadium food. While the selection of food is good, the quality is less than desirable. The exception to is if you get food from one of the independent vendors such as YNot Pizza (a local chain) or Dippin Dots. The general concession stands offer footlong hot dogs ($7.00), sausage dogs ($7.00), barbecue sandwiches with fries ($9.50), chicken tenders with fries ($9.00), and soft pretzels ($4.50). Other items include peanuts ($4.00) and nachos ($5.00).

Scope offers many beverage options including coffee ($3.00), hot chocolate ($3.00), bottled water ($5.00), and Pepsi products. Soft drinks are available in bottle ($5.00) and fountain ($5.00 for medium and $7.00 for large). Several alcoholic beverage options are also available on tap, in cans, or bottles, and range in price from $7.50 to $12.50.

If you are looking for a full meal, we recommend eating before going to the game. However, if you are just looking for a quick snack, you should be able to find about anything you want.

Atmosphere 3

While the Scope has amazing architecture and is a neat building to visit, it definitely shows its age. The building is also too big for the size crowds the Admirals draw, so it also seems a bit empty at times when you look around the building. That being said, the building has great sight lines for hockey, and there is not a bad seat in the house. All seats are cushioned, have chair backs, and are very comfortable. There is one center-hung, four-sided video board above center ice. It does a great job showing the score, power play information, and replays. There are also two other video boards on the walls above each goal. One nice thing is that these video boards show most of the ads and in game announcements, which leaves the center-hung board to almost exclusively show replays.

The Admirals have a dog named Salty as their mascot, who does a great job making his way through the crowd interacting with fans. A neat in-game promotion is the Chuck-A-Puck contest which occurs during the second intermission. Fans can buy pucks on the concourse for $1 apiece. Whoever, can through their puck and land closest to center-ice wins a $50 gift card to the Norfolk Waterside District. There are also t-shirts thrown into the crowd at several times during the games. Even though the Scope is an older building and games are not well-attended, the Admirals staff do a great job making the games entertaining for all.

Neighborhood 5

If you are visiting Norfolk from out of town, there is plenty to do both in downtown Norfolk and in the surrounding area. Waterside District is located in downtown Norfolk along the Elizabeth River, and is a great place to hang out before and after games. There are several restaurants located at Waterside including Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse and Blue Moon Taphouse. Many other local restaurants and bars are also located on Granby Street in downtown Norfolk.

Be sure to check out Nauticus, which features the USS Wisconsin, which can be boarded and explored. The Virginia Zoo is also located in Norfolk and is a must see, especially for those with families or children. Other potential activities include the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, which is about a half hour’s drive from downtown Norfolk; and Colonial Williamsburg, which is only an hour from Norfolk.

Hilton Norfolk the Main should be your first choice for lodging if spending the night in downtown Norfolk. It is a brand new hotel, and offers stunning views of the Elizabeth River. Your second choice should be the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel, which is located near the Waterside District.

Fans 2

The lack of fan support is one of the disappointing factors when attending an Admirals game. So far throughout the 2017-18 season, the Admirals are currently last in the ECHL in attendance, averaging just over 2,100 fans per game. This is barely 25% capacity, which is disappointing considering the exciting, family-friendly entertainment the Admirals provide.

Many fans in attendance do wear Admirals gear, and it is obvious that the team does have a core group of fans, albeit small. Fans are mainly quiet, but do get loud when there is a fight or when the Admirals score. Check out this video to see Admirals fans get fired up after a fight:

Access 4

Getting to the Scope is pretty easy as it is in downtown Norfolk, right off of I-264. Keep in mind that the tunnels and bridges around the city tend to back up especially during rush hour. If you arrive early, park in the garage underneath the Scope for only $5. Here you are only a short walk from the box office and lower level entrance. If the Scope garage fills up, there is another parking garage across the street. The box office is located in the basement level, so unless you are parking underneath the Scope, you will have to walk downstairs to the box office.

There is an option to buy tickets online, but these will have extra fees around $7 per ticket. Since there is no fear of a sellout, we recommend buying tickets at the box office once you arrive.

There is one main concourse at the Scope, and it is easy to navigate as there are plenty of signs marking sections, restrooms, etc. However, it does get very crowded during intermissions, even when there are only 2000-3000 fans in attendance. There are plenty of restrooms, and handicap accessible seating is well marked.

Return on Investment 4

Ticket prices range from $17 to $32. Even the $17 tickets offer a great view of the ice as the Scope is not that big of an arena. You can’t beat $5 parking that is only steps from the box office. However, the concession prices do tend to be a bit high. If you are in Norfolk and you are a hockey fan, a visit to an Admirals game is a great time and experience.

Extras 3

A big extra for the post game skate with the players, in which the Admirals offer free skates to anyone in attendance, and gives them the opportunity to skate with the team.

A second extra for the Chuck-A-Puck contest, and a third extra for the friendly staff at the Scope.

Final Thoughts

While the Admirals might not be your first thought when selecting a sporting event in Hampton Roads, it is quite an enjoyable experience, especially if you are a hockey fan. Plus you get to see the unique architecture of an historic arena. The city of Norfolk is considering renovating the Scope, which could make it an even better hockey experience.

Follow Joseph Oakes’ stadium journeys on Twitter @JosephSJ and on Instagram @stadiumtraveler87.

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Food and Drink Recommendations

Freemason Abbey

209 W Freemason St

Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 622-3966

http://www.freemasonabbey.com/


Norfolk Tap Room

101 Granby St

Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 961-0896

http://www.norfolktaproom.com/


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Entertainment Recommendations

MacArthur Center

300 Monticello Ave

Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 627-6000

http://www.shopmacarthur.com/


USS Wisconsin 

Nauticus

Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 664-1000

http://www.nauticus.org/exhibits/battleship-wisconsin


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Lodging Recommendations

 

Wyndham Garden Norfolk Downtown

700 Monticello Ave

Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 627-5555

https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/wyndham-garden/norfolk-virginia/wyndham-garden-norfolk-downtown/overview


 

Residence Inn by Marriott Norfolk Downtown

227 W Brambleton Ave

Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 842-6216

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/orfrn-residence-inn-norfolk-downtown


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Crowd Reviews

Latest Crowd Reviews

Date: 2018-01-07 21:04:17
By: Legacy Review

Total Score
3.29

Scope Arena’s architecture is worth seeing, but you can do that any time by just driving by or taking a stroll through the area. Norfolk is also worth a visit if you have never been, but I’m not sure I would recommend the hockey here – if you want to see the venue, maybe save it for a concert or other special event.

Stadium Info

Norfolk Scope
201 E. Brambleton Ave
Norfolk, VA 23510

Norfolk Admirals website

Norfolk Scope website

Year Opened: 1971

Capacity: 8,725

 

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