Leon's Centre

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Leon's Centre
"Kingston Regional Sports and Entertainment Centre"
Rogers K-Rock Centre - Interior.JPG
Former namesK-Rock Centre (2008-2013)
Rogers K-Rock Centre (2013-2018)
Location1 The Tragically Hip Way
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates44°14′00″N 76°28′47″W / 44.2334°N 76.4797°W / 44.2334; -76.4797Coordinates: 44°14′00″N 76°28′47″W / 44.2334°N 76.4797°W / 44.2334; -76.4797
OwnerCity of Kingston
OperatorSMG Canada ULC
Capacity5,614 - Hockey
6,800 - End stage concert
3,200 - Theatre
Field size200' X 85'
SurfaceMulti-surface
Construction
Broke groundJuly 28, 2006
OpenedFebruary 22, 2008
Construction costC$46.5 million
($53.1 million in 2017 dollars[1])
ArchitectBrisbin Brook Beynon Architects (BBB Architects)
Project managerPMX, Inc.
Structural engineerHalcrow Yolles
Services engineerThe Mitchell Partnership Inc.
General contractorEllisDon
Tenants
Kingston Frontenacs, 2008–present

Leon's Centre is an indoor stadium in downtown Kingston, Ontario, Canada, at the intersection of Ontario Street and Place d'Armes. The arena is the home of the Kingston Frontenacs ice hockey team of the Ontario Hockey League.

History[edit]

The exterior of the then K-Rock Centre

The arena was designed by Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects,[2] and was constructed by EllisDon Construction. It was built on city-owned land known as the "North Block," which at the time was being used as a parking lot. An archaeological dig of the area was necessary since the southeast portion of the site was the former location of part of the historic Fort Frontenac. The remaining ruins of the fort's northwest bastion is located directly across the street from the main entrance.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place July 28, 2006,[3] with construction beginning on November 3, 2006. On February 6, 2008, local radio station CIKR-FM (K-Rock FM) purchased the naming rights to the arena for 10 years at $3.3 million.[4] After Rogers Communications acquired ownership of CIKR-FM, the arena was officially renamed Rogers K-Rock Centre on August 14, 2013,[5] until the naming rights went to Leon's for 5 years at $257,500 per year[6] on July 1, 2018.

Leon's Centre was named the highest grossing Canadian venue, and ranked 19th worldwide for venues between 5,000 and 10,000 seats from the period of October 16, 2012 until October 15, 2013.[7]

In 2012, Kingston City Council voted to rename the street on which the arena is located, formerly a part of Barrack Street, to The Tragically Hip Way in honour of Kingston band The Tragically Hip.[8]

Concerts[edit]

The inaugural concert at Leon's Centre was performed by The Tragically Hip on February 23, 2008.[9] The arena has since hosted several concerts and entertainment events by artists including Elton John, Neil Young, Cirque du Soleil, Jerry Seinfeld, Bryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood, Brooks & Dunn, Leonard Cohen, Reba McEntire, Billy Talent, and Sting among many others.[9]

On August 20, 2016, The Tragically Hip played the final concert of their Man Machine Poem Tour at Leon's Centre (then Rogers K-Rock Centre) with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, in attendance.[10][11] The tour was announced after it was made public that lead singer Gord Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.[12] The concert was broadcast by the CBC's radio, television, and digital platforms under the title The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration.[13]

Sports[edit]

Leon's Centre (then Rogers K-Rock Centre) in its basketball formation, April 2018

The Kingston Frontenacs played their first game at their new home on February 22, 2008. Don Cherry dropped the puck for the ceremonial face off prior to the game. The Frontenacs dropped their first game in front of over 5700 fans, losing 3-2 to their rivals, the Belleville Bulls.[14] Two days later, the Fronts earned their first win at the Leon's Centre, defeating the Peterborough Petes 7–4.[15]

October 28 to 31, 2010, the City of Kingston played host to the 2010 Skate Canada International, an ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating event. This was the first major international sporting event to be hosted at the rink, and was broadcast across the world.

From February 16 to 24, 2013, Leon's Centre hosted the 2013 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the Canadian women's national curling championship, becoming the first Ontario city to host the event since Sault Ste. Marie in 2010. In the tournament, Rachel Homan from Ontario defeated former Scotties champion Jennifer Jones 9–6 in the final game. Attendance for the event was over 65,000.

The arena hosted the 2015 Canadian Figure Skating Championships between January 19 and 25, 2015.

Leon's Centre will host the 2020 Tim Horton's Brier, the Canadian men's national curling championship, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Kingston's first organized curling game.[16] The Brier will be held in Kingston for the first time since 1957.[16]

Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame[edit]

The Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame is located in the Leon's Centre. The hall of fame honors any athlete or "builder of sport" (such as a coach) who has contributed meaningfully to sports in Kingston. Athletes must be retired from the sport for which they are nominated for at least three years or be older than 50. Builders are eligible at any time.[17] The hall officially opened in 1996, and in 2008, it moved into the K-Rock Centre.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 26, 2018. CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. And "Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly) (Canada)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  2. ^ "About The Sports & Entertainment Centre". City of Kingston. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  3. ^ Rees Lambert, Lynn (July 28, 2006). "City throws off shackles to build sports/rec centre". Kingston This Week. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  4. ^ Press, Jordan (February 6, 2000). "K-Rock sings winning tune; Radio station awarded naming rights for new sports and entertainment centre". The Kingston Whig Standard. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  5. ^ So Far So Good for Arena
  6. ^ "Kingston City Council, Report to Council #18-103". cityofkingston.ca. May 1, 2018.
  7. ^ Rogers K-Rock Centre Named Highest Grossing Canadian Venue
  8. ^ "Kingston gets Tragically Hip Way". Toronto Star, February 22, 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Venue History - Rogers K-Rock Centre". rogersk-rockcentre.com. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  10. ^ Noronha, Charmaine. "Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip holds final show". The Associated Press. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Pays Tribute to the Tragically Hip". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Tragically Hip announces tour dates after singer Gord Downie's cancer diagnosis revealed". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  13. ^ "Millions watch Tragically Hip live on CBC". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 2016-08-21.
  14. ^ Ontario Hockey League Stats
  15. ^ Ontario Hockey League Stat
  16. ^ a b MacAlpine, Ian (November 1, 2018). "It's official: Brier coming to Kingston in 2020". Kingston Whig-Standard. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  17. ^ "Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame" (PDF). Kdshf.ca. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Kingston & District Sports Hall of Fame". www.kdshf.ca. Retrieved 2017-01-10.

External links[edit]