The Washington Times - October 5, 2007, 05:56PM
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\ Hockey/basketball arenas can be a little generic at times, but Philips is far from it. The layout of the seats and suites is unlike anything I’ve seen before. On the side of the arena opposite the players’ benches, there is one level of individual seats and then a wall of suites. There are five levels of suites and the hockey press box is on top of them. The design actually brings us media schleps closer to the ice, because there isn’t an upper deck of seats protruding at an angle away from the ice.\

\ The other three sides of the ice are filled with seats, and even they don’t have a cookie-cutter feel to them.\

\ “I think from an originality standpoint, it is one of the better ones,” Caps captain Chris Clark said. “Everything for us is great. This is one of the best road places. We’ve got everything we need and everything is clean.”\

\ There aren’t many banners in the place, but the Thrashers are adding their first real one, a 2006-07 Southeast Division championship, tonight (the other two are to signify the team’s inaugural season and for the All-Star game, which will be here this season).\

\ There are also two large flame-emitting bird heads that hang from the rafters. The heads (which are Thrashers logos, of course) spew fire after every Thrashers goal. And let’s be honest, there can’t be enough fireballs and pyrotechnics in an enclosed environment.\

\ — Corey Masisak