As the Stanley Cup Finals loom closer, hockey fans from all corners of the United States eagerly await the thrilling conclusion to this season's ice battles. 

Well, at least the corners of Florida and Nevada.

Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty
Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty

With excitement building, Adam McCann from WalletHub has released a report on 2023’s best cities for hockey fans.

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WalletHub's analysis took into account 75 U.S. cities, evaluating them based on 21 key indicators that define a great hockey city. The metrics encompassed various aspects such as ticket prices, stadium capacity, and the performance level of each city's teams. Two divisional categories, NHL and NCAA, were used to assess the cities. 

The top ten cities for hockey fans according to the WalletHub report are:

  1. Boston, MA
  2. Pittsburgh, PA
  3. Detroit, MI
  4. New York, NY
  5. St. Louis, MO
  6. Denver, CO
  7. Tampa, FL
  8. Newark, NJ
  9. Sunrise, FL
  10. Raleigh, NC

Notably, Orono, ME, secured the 31st spot in the overall ranking. Additionally, Orono stood out by tying for 1st place in College-Hockey Fan Engagement, sharing the accolade with Lewiston, NY; Hamilton, NY; Houghton, MI; and Big Rapids, MI.

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Orono's impressive performance in College-Hockey Fan Engagement is largely due to the presence of the University of Maine's men's and women's ice hockey teams. The Maine Black Bears men's ice hockey program has a rich history in the sport. The team has participated in 11 Frozen Fours, boasting a commendable 28-18 record in NCAA Tournament games. They have also clinched two national championships in 1993 and 1999. Fans fill the Harold Alfond Sports Arena, affectionately known as The Alfond, in Orono to cheer on their beloved Black Bears.

The women's ice hockey team, representing the University of Maine, has also made its mark. The Black Bears commenced play in 1997-98 and have consistently exhibited their skills on home ice at The Alfond. In the 2019-2020 season, they achieved a remarkable sixth-place finish and advanced to the semi-finals of the Hockey East tournament.

As the puck drops and the Stanley Cup finals commence on Saturday, June 3rd, fans across the nation (or again, Florida and Nevada) eagerly anticipate the crowning of a new, first-time champion.

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