It has been almost 150 years since the first field hockey game was played. The historic event took place in Montreal in 1875. Two years later, the first guidelines of the game were written. The place: McGill University, the home of the first known team of this discipline, the “Hockey Club”.
James George Aylwin Creighton, a campus athlete and precursor to the creation of the discipline, was in charge of drafting the bylaws. The rules were published in 1877 in The Gazette. Although, there were not many innovations in the ice hockey guidelines concerning those of the already existing field hockey.
Shortly after, the Montreal Victorias team emerged, and the passion spread across Canada. Ten years later, in 1885, the fever reached Europe, specifically Oxford University, where the first international team was founded. Subsequently, the Cambridge team was founded. The first formal meeting between the teams of both European universities dates back to 1900.
Today there are 32 official NHL teams across Canada (7) and the USA (25) with their respective home arenas. Here are some of the most emblematic areas of the national sport of Canadians and their most relevant data. See when the first games of the NHL season will be played.
Montreal Bell Center
Formerly known as Molson Centre (because the Molson family is the owner), the Bell Center is the largest ice hockey arena in the world. Construction began on June 22, 1993, and opened on March 16, 1996. Since then, it has been the home of the Montreal Canadiens of the NLF. Unfortunately for their fans, this team has never won a Stanley Cup title again since playing in this arena.
However, the Canadiens have had only five regular seasons with a negative balance in the Bell Center (1996-97, 1997-98, 2000-01, 2019-20, and 2021-22). In this regard, Les Canadiens have a global record in this arena of 492 wins, 355 losses, 45 ties, and 101 OTs. Their best season was 2020-21 when they lost the NHL Finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning by 1-4.
After the 2021 renovations, the arena has a field size of 71,000 m2 and a capacity of 21,105 spectators for hockey games. The arena also hosts other events such as basketball (capacity 22,110), concerts (15,000), and mixed martial arts (16,000 – 23,152).
Next Wednesday, October 12, the Montreal Bell Center will host the Canadiens vs. the Maple Leafs. This game is part of the official NHL schedule for the Staley Cup 2022-23.
It is the home of the 2021-22 champions, the Avalanche. It is located in the town of Denver, Colorado, precisely in Chopper Circle. The pavilion took two years to be built —it began in 1997—. It was inaugurated in 1999 and had a capacity of 18,007 spectators. “Pepsi Center” was the name initially given to the sports facility.
The architect HOK Sport designed the Ball Arena facilities not only with the comfort of the public in mind but also with accessibility in mind. That is why it was located on the edge of one of the busiest and most important thoroughfares in the city of Denver, Speer Boulevard. The site is close to the Elitch Gardens train station, just a 6-minute walk (0.3 miles). It is also close to one of the Interstate 25 exits.
In addition to being home to the Colorado Avalanche, the space is home to box lacrosse, basketball, and indoor football teams. Colorado Mammoth, Denver Nuggets, and Colorado Crush, respectively. Also, as expected, the Ball Arena has lent itself to the presentation of many concerts and other artistic, cultural, and social events.
Among the most important sporting events for which it has hosted, the following stand out:
- NHL All-Star 2001 and 200
- NBA All-Star 2001 and 2005
- Stanley Cup Finals in 2001
Next Wednesday, October 12, 2022, the Ball Arena will be the stage where the home team, Colorado Avalanche, will face off against the Chicago Blackhawks. The game corresponds to the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup.
At the cost of $265 million, it is one of architect Brisbin Brook Beynon most iconic buildings. The Scotiabank Arena was commissioned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Construction began in 1997 and took two years to complete (1999). As you might expect, it is the home of the Maple Leafs and the Raptors (NHL and NBA teams, respectively, which are also owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment).
It is located on the edge of Lake Shore Boulevard in Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario. Its facilities are close to the Rogers Centre and the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (North Building). Its 62,000 square meters of construction can accommodate 18,819 spectators when NHL games are played and 19,800 when NBA games are played.
Initially, this arena was called “Air Canada Centre”, a name it kept for almost 20 years. On July 1, 2018, a millionaire agreement (CAD 800,000,000) was closed with Scotiabank, so its name became the one we know today.
Since its inception, it has not only served for sporting events but has also been used for concerts and other activities. In its spaces have been developed activities as necessary as:
- The NHL All-Star in 2000;
- The final of the 2004 Ice Hockey World Championship;
- The 2016 NBA All-Star Game.
On October 13, the Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Washington Capitals at Scotiabank Arena for their 2022-23 Stanley Cup matchup.
Rogers Place Arena
It is one of the most recent NHL arenas. Its inauguration took place in 2016, after two years of construction. The work —owned by the City of Edmonton and operated by Oilers Entertainment Group— costs approximately $605.0M (CAD). The design team was 360 Architecture, while structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti provided construction management.
Rogers Place Arena is the current home of the Edmonton Oilers (the previous home was Rexall Place). The arena can seat 18,641 spectators and serves as a multi-purpose sports venue. It is easily accessible to the general public and visitors, thanks to the Edmonton Light Rail Transit (public transportation service) and the city’s subway (the MacEwan station is very close).
Next Wednesday, October 12, Rogers Place Arena will host the Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks. The game will be at a Meeting time: 10:00ET as part of the official 2022-23 Stanley Cup schedule set by the NHL.
The Mellon Center or Mellon Arena was the name given to the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1999 until 2010 when it was closed. This construction was initially named the Civic Auditorium in 1961 and became the first central arena in the world with a retractable roof. That rooftop covered more than 16,000 m2 and was built with 3,000 tons of Pennsylvanian steel. The construction cost $22 million (equivalent to $202 million in 2021), and his first use was for the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera.
This installation had a capacity of 16,940 fans for ice hockey games. Specifically, when they played at the Mellon Center, the Penguins had a regular season record of 860 wins, 578 losses, 205 ties, and 28 OT. The first (on October 11, 1967) and the last (on May 12, 2010) ice hockey games played in this arena was against the Montreal Canadiens; both were defeats by 1-2 and 2-5, respectively. During that time, the Pennsylvanian team won three (in 1991, 1992, and 2009) of their five Stanley Cups titles (the last ones were in 2015 and 2016).
The Mellon Center also hosted other sports such as basketball, boxing, professional wrestling, tennis, and indoor soccer. The following are some of the most important artistic events held in this arena:
- September 14, 1964: a sold-out concert by The Beatles
- July 11, 1971: the first “authorized” performance of Jesus Christ Superstar
- December 31, 1976: Elvis Presley’s final New Years’ Eve show
- Bee Gees: September 4-5, 1979
- Duran Duran: February 28, 1984
- Michael Jackson: September 26, 27, and 28, 1988
- Britney Spears: 2001 (Dream Within a Dream Tour) and 2009 (Circus Tour).
Story of Montreal Forum
Considered “the most historic building in the history of ice hockey”, the Montreal Forum was inaugurated on November 29, 1924. Its initial capacity was 9,300 seats and 3,200 standing spectators. It was built in only 159 days by the Canadian Arena Company at the cost of 1.5 million Canadian dollars (equivalent to more than US$ 22.8 million today). During the last active period (1991-1996) of the Montreal Forum, it had a capacity of 16,259 seats and 1,700 standing spectators.
This installation hosted two NHL teams: the Montreal Maroons (for whom the arena was built initially) between 1924 and 1938) and the Montreal Canadiens from 1926 to 1996. The arena also hosted 15 Stanley Cup Finals, of which the Maroons won one, 12 by the Canadiens, and two by foreign teams: the New York Rangers (1928) and the Calgary Flames (1989).
Other significant events
In 1976 the Montreal Forum hosted the Summer Olympics of gymnastics (including the legendary Nadia Comaneci’s impeccable 10) and also the finals of the following Sports:
- September 8, 1964: The Beatles performed four tracks in the Forum;
- June 10, 1978: Bob Marley and the Wailers;
- September 1-2, 1979: two sold-out concerts of The Bee-Gees;
- July of 1983: David Bowie played a concert as part of his Serious Moonlight Tour.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Was the Scotiabank Arena Formerly Called?
Its name for almost 20 years was “Air Canada Centre”.
How Many Official NHL Arenas Are There?
36 arenas and they are as follows:
- Amalie Arena
- American Airlines Center
- Ball Arena
- Bridgestone Arena
- Canadian Tire Centre
- Capital One Arena
- Centre Bell
- Climate Pledge Arena
- Cow Palace
- com Arena
- Enterprise Center
- FLA Live Arena
- Gila River Arena
- Honda Center
- Joe Louis Arena
- KeyBank Center
- Little Caesars Arena
- Madison Square Garden
- McNichols Sports Arena
- Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
- Nationwide Arena
- PNC Arena
- PPG Paints Arena
- Prudential Center
- Reunion Arena
- Rexall Place
- Rogers Arena
- Rogers Place
- SAP Center
- Scotiabank Arena
- Scotiabank Saddledome
- T-Mobile Arena
- TD Garden
- United Center
- Wells Fargo Center
- Xcel Energy Center