How Early Should You Get To A Hockey Game

Answer: It is recommended to arrive at a hockey game approximately 30 minutes before the puck drops. However, the actual time may vary depending on a few key factors. Here are five supporting facts to consider when deciding how early to get to a hockey game:
1. Security checks: Most hockey arenas have enhanced security measures in place, including bag checks and metal detectors. Arriving early allows you to go through these checks efficiently and avoid missing the start of the game.

2. Parking availability: If you are driving to the game, arriving early ensures you have enough time to find parking near the arena. Popular games can result in limited parking spaces, so arriving early gives you a better chance of finding a spot.

3. Pre-game activities: Many hockey arenas offer pre-game activities such as warm-up skates or special events. Arriving early allows you to enjoy these activities and get the most out of your game day experience.

4. Merchandise and concessions: Getting to the game early gives you the opportunity to explore the arena’s merchandise shops and grab your favorite team’s gear. You can also grab a snack or beverage before the game starts, avoiding long lines during intermissions.

5. Seat location: If you have specific seats or a seating preference, arriving early ensures you have enough time to locate and settle into your seat comfortably. This is particularly important for larger arenas where finding your seat can take time.


1. Can I enter the hockey arena before the stated gate opening time?
– No, the arena gates typically open at a specific time mentioned on your ticket. Arriving early, however, ensures you are one of the first fans to enter once the gates open.

2. How early should I arrive for a playoff hockey game?
– Playoff games tend to have higher attendance and more intense security measures, so it is advisable to arrive 45-60 minutes before the game to account for potential delays.

3. What if I have a season ticket or a VIP pass?
– Even if you have special access privileges, it is still recommended to arrive early to enjoy any pre-game activities, ensure a smooth entry, and make the most of your game-day experience.

4. Is there any advantage to arriving later than the recommended time?
– Arriving later may allow you to miss the crowds at the entrance, but it also means missing out on pre-game activities, potential giveaways, and the experience of watching the warm-up session.

5. Do I need to arrive early for every hockey game I attend?
– While it is not obligatory, arriving early can enhance your overall game-day experience, especially if it’s your first time in the arena or there are special activities before the game.

6. What if I am attending a weekday game after work?
– If you are attending a game on a weekday after work, try to leave early or plan your schedule accordingly to ensure you have enough time to get to the game at least 30 minutes before the start.

7. Can I still enter the arena if I arrive late?
– Yes, you can still enter the arena even after the game starts. However, entering late means missing a portion of the game and potentially disrupting other fans in your row or seat.

BOTTOM LINE: Arriving at a hockey game approximately 30 minutes before puck drop is recommended to ensure a smooth entry, enjoy pre-game activities, and secure your preferred seat. However, factors such as security checks, parking availability, and your personal preferences may influence your decision to arrive slightly earlier or later.