Going to a hockey game soon? If you’ve never been to the arena before, you might not necessarily know where the best seats are. We’re here to help.

Pro sporting events can be a handful when it comes to getting tickets, but since we’ve navigated the process before, we’ll guide you so you don’t run into some of the more common problems.

What it comes down to is whether you want to be close to the action and see the game from the same level as the players, or whether you want more of a bird’s eye view so that you can see all of the players at once and catch all of the action. There are some trade-offs regardless of what you decide, but both can be very fun. Whatever you decide, we’ll help point you in the right direction.

First Hockey Game?

If you’re going to your first-ever professional hockey game, you are in for a treat. Going to an NHL game is a huge deal, and your first game is going to be a special experience. You don’t want to worry about having bad seats just because you didn’t put the effort into knowing what you were doing. Spend those few extra minutes now. It will make your first game that much more exciting later on. We promise.

Home or Away?

Getting the Right Hockey SeatsWe’re not talking about home and away games! We are talking about the differences between watching a game on television and watching a game live in person. Watching hockey on TV is fun; we’re not going to try and argue that point. Having some friends over, having drinks and snacks spread out, and watching your favorite team on the big screen makes for an awesome evening of entertainment. Especially when they win.

Now, think about that same group of friends, but in the arena. You will have stadium snacks and meals, plastic cups for your beverages, and a few thousand other fans hanging out with you, all on the edge of their seat thanks to the excitement. It will be chilly with the ice, the smell of sweat and food is in the air, and it’s a completely different atmosphere. While hanging out at home is a fun time, going away to your home team’s stadium is even more enjoyable. You need to make sure you have the best seats you can get so you can get the most out of this experience.

What Should I Do?

If you’re not sure where the best place to sit is, find a seating chart. Many of the top ticket sites will have these right on their site so that you can see how close to the ice you’ll be sitting as you pick out which tickets you should purchase. If you’re going through a major site like StubHub or SeatGeek, these charts are really easy to find, and you can even click on the section that you prefer to sit in and see which tickets, if any, are available. StubHub has a page dedicated to each major arena, which makes it a lot easier to be able to learn about the stadiums (or any other venue you might be going to for another event).

If you’re going through another site, you might not have the option available. Knowing where you’re sitting is important, though, so we recommend taking the extra steps to get the best. You have a few different choices here. You can shop around and use a different site to look at ticket locations before you finalize your purchase, or you can look at the seating chart that each NHL arena has on its website. For example, if you are in Boston and you’re going to a game at TD Garden to see the Bruin play, you can just go to the official site here (http://www.tdgarden.com/seat-finder/) and see where you’ll be located. Each arena has a feature like this on its site, so you never have an excuse for not knowing which section is located where, and which seats give you your preferred spot to watch the action.

Keep Price in Mind

Yeah, pro hockey tickets can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you need to go broke getting the right ones. Just because tickets might be expensive doesn’t mean that they are good seats. Sometimes, the right seats for you will be a little cheaper than the best seats out there. Keep that in mind, and spend some time balancing price and location. Finding the perfect mixture of these two things will help you get the best seats and save some cash at the same time.

If you don’t know what you will enjoy the most, don’t worry. Just going to a game is a great time in itself! Plus, if you have tickets near the ice and you’re curious about what the view from higher up looks like, you now have an excuse to go to another game.

Don’t Forget Parking!

You will have to think about parking most of the time—especially if you are coming in from out of town. Getting your parking pass well ahead of time is the smart thing to do. Parking is often overly expensive if you wait until the last minute to think about this. Or worse, if you wait too long to think about where you’ll leave your vehicle, you might miss some or all of the game! We’ve heard horror stories about something like this happening, and we don’t want that to happen to you. If you can get parking passes for your event through the ticket site you are looking at buying tickets through, you will simplify the process for yourself. Getting a parking pass might seem like a needless expense, but if you need one, it’s better to pay a few bucks now than pay triple or more later on. Plus, you won’t need to worry about finding a spot, eliminating one more worry so you can just watch the game and have fun.