In fact, "intimate" would be a good word to describe the building; the ceiling is low and reflects noise well, and the ceiling above the concourse is so low (and the views at the top of each section so narrow) that it's almost claustrophobic.
The former IMA Sports Arena was built in the 1960's and is located just on the Flint side of the boundary separating city from suburbs.
From the East: Exit off I-69 at #139, Center Road, and proceed south to Lapeer Road. From the West: Exit off I-69 at #138, M-54, and proceed south to Lapeer Road. Parking is on site for a fee, or on city streets to the south of the complex.
The Flint Firebirds began their existence as an expansion team in 1990-91 at Cobo Arena in downtown Detroit as the Detroit Ambassadors.
I'd also like to see a little bit more of Flint's hockey history on display - there are acres of bare white walls throughout the arena that could be used for photographs, loads of ceiling space for banners from the Generals and Tropics, etc.
Even a few gallons of blue and orange paint would go a long way, and wouldn't at all be out of place in an older arena that dripped navy and gold when I visited in 2009.
Yes, Flint has a certain negative reputation among people who've never been there, and even among those of us who have genuine affection for the city, it still doesn't quite bring to mind the glories of Renaissance Florence.