|Former names||Air Canada Centre (1999–2018)|
|Address||40 Bay Street|
Union subway station
GO Bus Terminal
|Parking||2 underground levels|
|Owner||Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment|
|Operator||Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment|
Basketball: 19,800 (20,511 with standing room)|
Hockey: 18,800 (20,270 with standing room)
|Broke ground||March 12, 1997|
|Opened||February 19, 1999|
($366 million in 2016 dollars)
Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects (Architect of Record)|
|Project manager||Clarendon Projects Ltd.|
|Structural engineer||Yolles Partnership Inc.|
|Services engineer||The Mitchell Partnership, Inc.|
|General contractor||PCL Constructors Western, Inc.|
Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) (1999–present)|
Toronto Raptors (NBA) (1999–present)
Toronto Rock (NLL) (2001–present)
Toronto Phantoms (AFL) (2001–2002)
Scotiabank Arena, formerly the Air Canada Centre, is a multi-purpose arena located on Bay Street in the South Core district of Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). In addition, the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League (AHL) and the Raptors 905 of the NBA G League play occasional games at the arena. The area was previously home to the Toronto Phantoms of the Arena Football League (AFL) during their brief existence.
The arena is owned and operated by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE), the same group that owns both the Leafs and Raptors, as well as their respective development teams, and is 665,000 square feet (61,800 square metres) in size. In 2008, the Scotiabank Arena was the fifth busiest arena in the world and the busiest in Canada. It is also the most photographed location in Canada on Instagram according to BuzzFeed. Scotiabank Arena is connected to Toronto Union railway station, subway station and bus terminal via the PATH.
Scotiabank Arena has, from its initial design to completion, revolutionized many concepts included in new arenas and stadiums built since then. These features include luxury suites accessible on the ground floor, splitting the main scoreboard into several sections, rotating all sponsor signage in the bowl at once (to allow dominant messaging or "neutralization" for events that disallow commercial advertising), and multiple restaurants in and out of the main arena bowl view.
Scotiabank Arena also hosts other events, such as concerts, political conventions and video game competitions.
The arena site was once occupied by Canada Post's Toronto Postal Delivery Building (designed by Charles B. Dolphin), which was briefly handed over to Department of National Defence for war storage purposes upon completion in 1941, but returned to Canada Post in 1946. In the early 1990s, real estate developers Bramalea Ltd and Trizec arranged to purchase the building from Canada Post with equal ownership, and redevelop the site into a 2,500,000-square-foot (230,000 m2) office, retail and residential space. The financial and development details of the purchase had various conditions around the property being rezoned by the city, and remediation of soil contamination by Canada Post before any development.
Due to financial difficulties, the building ownership was returned to Canada Post in 1993. The Toronto Raptors purchased the building from Canada Post the next year.
Construction of Air Canada Centre, now called Scotiabank Arena, was started by the Toronto Raptors, under their initial ownership group headed by Canadian businessman John Bitove. The Raptors initially played in SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) while the arena was constructed. Groundbreaking took place in March 1997. The building retained the Art Deco facade of the Toronto Postal Delivery Building along the east (along Bay Street) and south (Lake Shore Boulevard) walls of that structure, but the rest of the building (facing Union Station) was removed to make room for the arena, through the process of facadism. The original building is protected under the Ontario Heritage Act.
While construction was in progress, the Raptors and their partially completed arena were purchased by MLSE, which was contemplating building their own arena for the Maple Leafs to replace the aging Maple Leaf Gardens. MLSE subsequently ordered major modifications to the original design, which was basketball-specific, to make the arena become more suitable for hockey. Originally planned to cost $217 million, MLSE increased the budget to $265 million after taking control. The Raptors were twice fined a million dollars (which were donated to their charitable foundation) by the NBA for missing deadlines to begin construction of their new arena.
Air Canada purchased naming rights to the arena for USD $30 million for 20 years. A 15-storey tower on Bay Street stands at 55 metres (180 ft) and provides connections in the atrium to Union Station, Bay Street, and York Street (via Bremner Boulevard). Scotiabank Arena is connected to the underground PATH network.
In 2003, MLSE completed a $5 million upgrade of the arena, including a new LED signage system. During the summer of 2015, a $10 million upgrade of the arena was carried out, which included the installation of a new scoreboard four times as large as the previous one. The old scoreboard was later installed at Ricoh Coliseum.
In 2009, the arena had its liquor licence suspended for five days.
On August 29, 2017, it was announced that the Air Canada Centre would be renamed Scotiabank Arena on July 1, 2018. The landmark 20-year sponsorship agreement between Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and Scotiabank is worth about C$800 million. This is believed to be the highest-priced annual building and team sponsorship in North American sports history.
Maple Leaf Square
In late 2005, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced that they would be renovating the western side of the Air Canada Centre during the 2008 off-season to connect it with the Maple Leaf Square development. Maple Leaf Square is jointly owned by MLSE, Cadillac Fairview and Lantera Developments. The $500 million development includes two restaurants, Hotel Le Germain at Maple Leaf Square boutique hotel, extensive retail shopping, including a 9,000-square-foot (840 m2) Leafs, Marlies, Raptors, and Toronto FC store, two 54-storey condominiums, a Longo's supermarket, and a public square. It opened in 2010. The two-year, $48 million renovation of the ACC added a new atrium that includes a High-Definition broadcast studio for Leafs Nation Network (formerly Leafs TV), NBA TV Canada and GolTV Canada.
The outside wall of the atrium features a 30-by-50-foot (9.1 by 15.2 m) video screen overlooking the plaza, which often broadcasts games taking place inside the arena. During NHL and NBA playoff runs, the square attracts thousands of Leafs and Raptors fans, respectively, sometimes broadcasting away playoff matches featuring the Leafs and/or the Raptors as well. A section of the square is designated Ford Fan Zone at Maple Leaf Square, with naming rights given to the Ford Motor Company of Canada. During Raptors playoff runs, the square has acquired the nickname "Jurassic Park" after the 1993 film adaptation that inspired the team's name.
In 2003, the governing Liberal Party of Canada held their leadership convention at the Air Canada Centre. Paul Martin was elected as the new leader of the party and thus also became prime minister, succeeding Jean Chrétien.
The first Maple Leafs home game took place on February 20, 1999, versus the Montreal Canadiens, won by the Leafs 3–2 on an overtime goal by Steve Thomas. Maple Leaf home games are generally sold out, and despite their lack of appearances in NHL playoffs and the Stanley Cup, there is a waitlist since the start of 2015 for Season Ticket Holders for upcoming seasons. The first Raptors game took place the following night versus the Vancouver Grizzlies (later moved to Memphis in 2000). The Raptors won 102–87 in front of a sell-out crowd. The facility hosted the 2000 NHL All-Star Game, the championship game of the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, all games of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and the 2016 NBA All-Star Game, the first NBA All-Star Game held outside of the United States.
On October 3, 2003, Air Canada Centre had a power outage during the third quarter of a Raptors pre-season game against the Athens-based club Panathinaikos. The game was called final, because the power was not restored in time and the Raptors already had a 30-point lead.
|UFC 140||Saturday, December 10, 2011|
|UFC 152||Saturday, September 22, 2012|
|UFC 165||Saturday, September 21, 2013|
|UFC 206||Saturday, December 10, 2016|
Air Canada Centre hosted the 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships for the first time, as well as hosted the final match of that tournament, in which Canada was crowned champion, defeating Russia. The ACC co-hosted that tournament with Bell Centre in Montreal, and both venues co-hosted the 2017 edition of the same event, though the ACC did not host the medal rounds.
Video game competitions
On August 27 and 28, 2016, Air Canada Centre hosted the sixth season of the Summer North American Championship Series of League of Legends (LoL), marking the first professional League of Legends competition in Canada. League of Legends is a popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) PC game by American video game developer Riot Games; League of Legends competitions are among the most viewed among professional video game competitions. During the final round, Team SoloMid (TSM) defeated Cloud9 (C9) three matches to one in a best-of-five format. The Summer North American Championship Series serve as the qualifiers for the annual League of Legends World Championship for North American teams.
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