|Former names||Civic Arena
|Location||100 Princes' Boulevard
Toronto, Ontario M6K 3C3
|Public transit|| Union
Bathurst, Dufferin, Dundas West
193 Exhibition Rocket
Lakeshore West line
|Owner||City of Toronto|
|Operator||Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.|
|Capacity||Ice hockey 7,851; 8,140 (including standing room)
|Opened||December 16, 1921|
|Construction cost||$1.5 million
$38 million (renovation)
|Architect||George F.W. Price (original)
Brisbin Brook Beynon, Architects (renovation)
|Toronto-Buffalo Royals (WTT) (1974)
Toronto Marlies (AHL) (2005–present)
Toronto Triumph (LFL) (2011-2012)
Toronto Roadrunners (AHL) (2003–2004)
Ricoh Coliseum is an ice hockey and agricultural arena at Exhibition Place in Toronto. It serves as the home arena of the Toronto Marlies, the American Hockey League farm team of the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was formerly known as the CNE Coliseum. It has served as the display ring for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair since 1922. Since 1997, it has been part of the 'Direct Energy Centre' exhibition complex.
Initially known as the Civic Arena, the building had its official public opening on December 16, 1921. A joint construction project of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, it was claimed to be the largest structure of its kind in North America.
On April 4, 1922, it was the site of the Johnny Dundee vs Jimmy Goodrich boxing match promoted by Jack Corcoran that set a new indoor sports attendance record for Toronto with 11,900 spectators packed into the building. The mark would stand until the construction of Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931.
From 1942 to 1945, the building was used as a training base for the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II and known as the 'Manning Depot'. A photo of it as the RCAF Manning Depot is in the New Westminster Museum and Archives # IHP9562-003. After the war, it mainly hosted equestrian events for the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, the CNE and other events. The arena was also used as a horse barn.
In the 1960s, the southern exterior was recladded with black and white siding to update its look. In 1997, the National Trade Centre exhibition complex was built. The complex included new buildings to the south and southeast of the Coliseum, which abutted the front of the Coliseum, placing its main entrance indoors. The exterior cladding was removed, restoring the original appearance, albeit indoors.
In the early 2000s, there were efforts to refurbish the arena for a minor professional team. Plans to move the dormant Phoenix Roadrunners of the International Hockey League to Toronto for the 2002-2003 season fell apart when the league dissolved and six teams, but not the Roadrunners, were absorbed by the American Hockey League (AHL) in the summer of 2001. The same group then attempted to purchase the Louisville Panthers AHL franchise, which had suspended operations for the 2001-2002 season, and relocate it to the Coliseum, but the AHL voted against the transaction in December 2001. The Toronto Maple Leafs pressured the Hamilton Bulldogs, who held territorial rights to Toronto since it fell within their 50 mile home territory, to veto the transaction. The Leafs reportedly did not want the Coliseum to be upgraded as it would compete with their newly opened Air Canada Centre. Next, the group began pursuing the Bulldogs, which were owned by their NHL affiliate the Edmonton Oilers. The Bulldogs did not require league approval to move to Toronto since the Coliseum was within their territory.
After an agreement was reached with the Oilers to relocate the Bulldogs to Toronto, and to rename them the Toronto Roadrunners, the City of Toronto agreed to an extensive renovation of the Coliseum for the team in November 2002. At a cost of $38 million, the arena's capacity was expanded from 6,500 to 9,700 by building a new higher roof, lowering the floor and adding new seats in the expanded area. The renovated building has 38 private suites. Borealis Infrastructure contributed $9 million up front and $20 million of borrowed funds in return for a 49-year lease to the arena. The City of Toronto invested $9 million in the project and guaranteed Borealis' loans, while remaining the owner of the building. Japanese office supply company Ricoh purchased the naming rights to the new facility for $10 million over 10 years, with an optional 5-year extension. Borealis signed a 49 year sublease to the building with the Roadrunners for $9,500 per game.
Since its 2003 renovation, the Coliseum is now used for professional ice hockey, the Royal Canadian Horse Show during the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and various events during the CNE. During the 2009, 2010 and 2011 CNE, it was used for a figure skating show.
On November 1, 2003 it made its debut as an ice hockey venue, as the Roadrunners tied the Rochester Americans 1-1. However, the Roadrunners' lease was terminated in June 2004, following their first season, for defaulting on its rent. The Oilers chose to relocate the Roadrunners to Edmonton for the following season due to poor attendance and in anticipation of the impending NHL lockout.
The Coliseum was left without a hockey tenant for a year, but in August 2004 Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment announced that they would relocate their AHL farm team from St. John's, Newfoundland to Toronto to play in the Coliseum for the 2005-2006 season, after agreeing on a 20-year lease for the arena. Their lease calls for rent to cover debt financing charges, property taxes and generate a return to the arena investors, which exceeds $4 million annually.
The Ricoh Coliseum hosted the 2007 AHL All-Star Game on January 29, 2007.
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- Peddie, Richard (2013). Dream Job. Harper Collins.
||Gardiner Expressway / Exhibition GO Station / Exhibition Loop (TTC)|
|Horse Palace||Princes' Gates|
|Direct Energy Centre|