|Full name||MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence|
|Location||400 Kipling Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, CAN
|Owner||City of Toronto|
|Field size||(3) 200' x 85', (1) 200' x 98'|
|Opened||September 8, 2009|
|Construction cost||$44 million|
|Toronto Furies (2010–present)|
The MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence or commonly the MasterCard Centre is a hockey facility located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It has four ice sheets and is the official practice facility for the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL hockey team, and their AHL affiliate the Toronto Marlies. The building also houses offices for Hockey Canada and the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The MasterCard Centre was built as a joint venture between the Toronto Maple Leafs, the City of Toronto and the Lakeshore Lions Club at a cost of $44 million, after cost overruns drove up the cost from $33.65 million, to replace the nearby Lakeshore Lions Arena. The Lions Club contributed $40 million to the project, with the city providing a $35.5 million loan guarantee. The Toronto District School Board leased the land for the arena to the Lakeshore Lions for a 50 year term. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) spent a further $5 million on training and medical facilities to make the building the practice rink of their two hockey teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies. The Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey School is also held at the arena. MLSE pays $600,000 annually to rent the building. MasterCard purchased the naming rights to the facility for $525,000 a year.
The new facility, which is located at 400 Kipling Avenue in the New Toronto neighbourhood of Toronto, opened in September 2009. It has four NHL-sized rinks, one of which can be expanded to Olympic dimensions with 1000 seats, as well as extensive training facilities. According to MasterCard, the arena is "the first community ice facility to be built in the Toronto-area in the last 25 years."
The arena was originally operated by the Lakeshore Lions Club, but in June 2011, with the arena unable to deal with its rising debt and on the verge of defaulting, the City of Toronto decided to take control and assume its $43.4 million debt. The arena had planned to have a restaurant and sporting goods store at the facility, but were unable to find a tenant leading to the financial difficulties.
The arena is now run by Lakeshore Arena Corporation, an arms-length city corporation, which took over on September 8, 2011 with the intention to return it to private management within 2-3 years. A city councillor has suggested that MLSE, which operates BMO Field and Ricoh Coliseum on behalf of the city, would be "the logical party" to take over the arena, and a spokesperson for the company said "while we don’t have any interest in purchasing the facility, we are open to discussing the possibility of managing the facility on behalf of the City of Toronto". MLSE's executive vice president of venues and entertainment Bob Hunter said they would bid for the right to run the building.
The rink is home to the Upper Canada Patriots Junior "A" team of the Central Canadian Hockey League. The Toronto Fury of the Canadian Women's Hockey League have also played home games there. On Saturdays from September through June the facility provides open, free ice skating for families. In 2011, it was the venue for the third season of the CBC reality figure skating competition Battle of the Blades, and subsequently hosted the fourth season in 2013.
D.K. (Doc) Seaman Hockey Resource Centre
Doc Seaman, a part owner of the Calgary Flames died on January 11, 2009 after a long battle with prostate cancer. In his honour, the Hockey Hall of Fame has named its new $4 million archive and resource centre at the MasterCard Centre the D.K. (Doc) Seaman Hockey Resource Centre. The Hockey Hall of Fame maintains an archive of historical items, their research and archival department. The facility replaces the archive and research library at the main Hockey Hall of Fame building in downtown Toronto. The space is shared with Hockey Canada.
- "Leafs, Marlies, Lakeshore Lions Club Team up with MasterCard To Foster Hockey Excellence". MasterCard. August 19, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2004.
- Moloney, Paul (June 13, 2011). "City poised to take over arena’s $40 million debt". Toronto Star. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Hornby, Lance (September 8, 2009). "Leafs open 'Cadillac' of practice facilities". Toronto Sun. Retrieved May 6, 2011.
- Levy, Sue-Ann (June 20, 2011). "Toronto's $449-million loan groan". Toronto Sun. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
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- "RE: Lakeshore Arena Corporation 2012 Audited Financial Statements and Annual Report of the Board of Directors". Lakeshore Arena Corporation. March 31, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- "Daryl Kenneth "Doc" Seaman". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved December 3, 2010.
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