Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex

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Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Sports Complex
The Aud
Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex Interior 2016.JPG
Location 400 East Street
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
N2H 1Z6
Coordinates 43°26′49″N 80°28′1″W / 43.44694°N 80.46694°W / 43.44694; -80.46694Coordinates: 43°26′49″N 80°28′1″W / 43.44694°N 80.46694°W / 43.44694; -80.46694
Owner City of Kitchener
Operator City of Kitchener
Capacity 7,131 (Ice hockey seated)
7,777 (with standing)
7,312 (Basketball)
8,462 (Concerts)
Surface Ice 200'x85'
Construction
Broke ground 1950
Opened May 24, 1951
Tenants
Kitchener Rangers (OHL) (1961-present)
Kitchener Dutchmen (GOJHL)
KW Titans (NBL) (2016-present)

The Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex (also known as The Aud) is a multi-use municipally-owned facility in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. The complex is located on East Avenue, near the Ottawa Street interchange on the Conestoga Parkway. The complex includes "The Kitchener Memorial Audiorium" with the Dom Cardillo Arena, two smaller community arenas the Kinsmen Arena and Kiwanis Arena, the Jack Couch Stadium baseball park, Centennial Stadium (track and field, soccer / football) and a skatepark outside the stadium.

Kitchener Memorial Auditorium[edit]

The Kitchener Memorial Audiorium or The Aud for short, includes a main ice rink (the Dom Cardillo Arena) with a seating capacity of 7,234 and a total capacity of 7,777, including standing room. It is home to the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League.

The original arena was built in 1950 and has been expanded three times since then.

The Aud hosted the 2008 Memorial Cup from May 16 to May 25, 2008, with 437 additional permanent seats being added. The Aud previously hosted 1962 Memorial Cup, 1975 Memorial Cup and 1984 Memorial Cup games.

Other notable junior ice hockey events include the 1995 and 2003 CHL Top Prospects Game, the 1980, 1985, 1995 Ontario Hockey League All-star games, and the 1986 IIHF World U20 Championship. During the 1986 tournament, Canada defeated West Germany 18-2 at The Aud, setting a record for most goals for, and largest margin of victory by the Canada national junior hockey team at the tournament.[1]

The facility has also hosted major events including concerts by Led Zeppelin, Genesis, KISS, Bob Dylan, Elton John, WCW Monday Nitro, Backstreet Boys, Michael Bublé, Hilary Duff; the Scott Tournament of Hearts, Four Nations Cup, Homesense Skate Canada International, the World Junior Figure Skating Championships, and NBA exhibition games.

Seating[edit]

Approximate capacities:

  • 7,777 - Hockey
  • 7,312 - Basketball
  • 8,462 - End stage concert

The Aud features 26 luxury suites and seated full service restaurant.

Centennial Stadium[edit]

Centennial Stadium (demolished, 2011)
Location Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Owner City of Kitchener
Capacity 3,200
Surface Grass
Opened 1967

Centennial Stadium was a football/soccer stadium next to The Aud. The stadium seated 3,200 spectators and was the largest stadium in Kitchener.

The stadium was additionally noteworthy for its location with easy highway access from Waterloo, Guelph, and Cambridge and its track and field facilities.

In the spring of 2011, the grandstand at Centennial Stadium was deemed unsafe and ultimately condemned. On Tuesday, June 12, 2012, Kitchener City Council voted 6-4 to demolish the grandstand, it has since been torn down. Jacob Hespeler Secondary school has recently added an artificial turf field as well as an improved track surface, in order to fill the gap that was left after Centennial was demolished.

Jack Couch Stadium[edit]

Jack Couch Stadium
Location Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Owner City of Kitchener
Capacity 1,400
Field size Left Field - 325 feet (99 m)
Center Field - 380 feet (120 m)
Right Field - 325 feet (99 m)
Surface Grass
Opened 1967
Tenants
Kitchener Panthers (IBL)

Jack Couch Stadium is a 1,400-seat baseball park in Kitchener, Ontario that hosts the Kitchener Panthers of the Intercounty Baseball League.

History[edit]

The current Aud replaced an earlier facility, the Queen Street Auditorium, at the corner of Charles St., built for $55,000 in 1904. Use of that building ended after a major fire in 1948.[2][3][4]

In its early days, the natural ice surface of the old Aud supported hockey, with the first game seeing Berlin trounce Brantford 7-3, in front of an audience of 2,000. Artificial ice was installed in 1927 and this was the home of the Waterloo Siskins, a team formed in 1937. The Kraut line also played at this facility. "It was home to me and it was a palace, as far as I was concerned," Milt Schmidt recalled in 2016. By the time of the Second World War however, when most young men were overseas, so the building was used primarily as a Big band era dance hall. Another factor in this change was that Silverwood Dairies, which had provided the refrigeration for the ice surface, moved to another location in 1938, ending the availability of inexpensive artificial ice. Afterwards, the city was without a large indoor ice surface until the new Aud was built.[5][6]

Renovations[edit]

Kitchener Rangers president Steve Bienkowski has stated that the Rangers have begun the process of researching a new arena. The Rangers have sold out almost every game for the past 3 years, and the waiting list for season tickets has been well over the cap of 4,750. The Rangers would like a building with at least 10,000 seats.

More recently, Bienkowski presented the City of Kitchener council a report on expanding the Aud. The expansion would include another level of seating as well as an expanded concourse. The expansion would add 3,500 seats to the facility to make total seating capacity around 10,500. The estimated cost would be $44 million. This is the favoured route for the team, as a new arena with a larger seating capacity (about 10,000) would cost an estimated $150 million. City council has made it clear they would not finance such a large project unless private companies were adding money to it. Council has been very favourable at the idea of expanding the city owned building. The plan includes raising the roof on the building. This has been done before, with the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium back in the early 1970s.

Bienkowski and the city have come to an agreement, if approved, that would see the auditorium expanded by 1,000 seats. There would also be a concourse on the third level. The expected cost for this expansion would be roughly $9 million, with the Kitchener Rangers Hockey Club paying for it, via a loan from the City of Kitchener. Work began in February 2012 and should be finished November 2012. Seating capacity when finished should be 7,268, about 1,000 more than now, this includes about 920 in regular seats and 80 seats in new suites. That capacity with standing room will be about 7,800. A direct link to the video rendering of what the Auditorium will look like after the renovations can be found here.[7][8][9]

Renovations[edit]

Kitchener Rangers president Steve Bienkowski has stated that the Rangers have begun the process of researching a new arena. The Rangers have sold out almost every game for the past 3 years, and the waiting list for season tickets has been well over the cap of 4,750. The Rangers would like a building with at least 10,000 seats.

More recently, Bienkowski presented the City of Kitchener council a report on expanding the Aud. The expansion would include another level of seating as well as an expanded concourse. The expansion would add 3,500 seats to the facility to make total seating capacity around 10,500. The estimated cost would be $44 million. This is the favoured route for the team, as a new arena with a larger seating capacity (about 10,000) would cost an estimated $150 million. City council has made it clear they would not finance such a large project unless private companies were adding money to it. Council has been very favourable at the idea of expanding the city owned building. The plan includes raising the roof on the building. This has been done before, with the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium back in the early 1970s.

Bienkowski and the city have come to an agreement, if approved, that would see the auditorium expanded by 1,000 seats. There would also be a concourse on the third level. The expected cost for this expansion would be roughly $9 million, with the Kitchener Rangers Hockey Club paying for it, via a loan from the City of Kitchener. Work began in February 2012 and should be finished November 2012. Seating capacity when finished should be 7,268, about 1,000 more than now, this includes about 920 in regular seats and 80 seats in new suites. That capacity with standing room will be about 7,800. A direct link to the video rendering of what the Auditorium will look like after the renovations can be found here.[10][11][12]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]