Mile One Centre

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Mile One Centre
New Mile One Logo.png
Mile One Centre
Former namesMile One Stadium
Address50 New Gower Street
LocationSt. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Coordinates47°33′36.08″N 52°42′47.55″W / 47.5600222°N 52.7132083°W / 47.5600222; -52.7132083Coordinates: 47°33′36.08″N 52°42′47.55″W / 47.5600222°N 52.7132083°W / 47.5600222; -52.7132083
OwnerCity of St. John's
OperatorSt. John's Sports and Entertainment
Capacityice hockey: 6,287
Basketball: 6,750
Full capacity: 7,000
Construction
Broke groundOctober 1998
OpenedMay 24, 2001
Construction costC$20.5 million[1]
($27.3 million in 2017 dollars[2])
ArchitectPBK Architects, Inc.
General contractorOlympic Construction Ltd.[3]
Tenants
St. John's Maple Leafs (AHL) (2001–2005)
St. John's Fog Devils (QMJHL) (2005–2008)
St. John's IceCaps (AHL) (2011–2017)
St. John's Edge (NBLC) (2017–present)
Newfoundland Growlers (ECHL) (2018–present)

Mile One Centre is an indoor arena and entertainment venue located in downtown St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The arena opened in May 2001, as Mile One Stadium, replacing Memorial Stadium. The centre's name comes from it being located at the beginning of the Trans-Canada Highway. At full capacity the arena can seat 7,000 people.[4]

The arena is the home of the St. John's Edge of the National Basketball League of Canada and the Newfoundland Growlers of the ECHL.

Naming rights[edit]

Though the centre's name is often assumed to be a generic name based solely on the building's location, Mile One Centre is in fact among the many North American sports venues that have raised funds by selling their naming rights. In the case of Mile One, brewing company Molson initially acquired the naming rights for 10 years (2001-2011), as well as other privileges such as being the venue's exclusive beer supplier, for $1.5 million.[5] Molson then resold the naming rights to Danny Williams, then-owner of Cable Atlantic (and later premier of Newfoundland and Labrador), for $600,000. Before the centre opened, however, Williams sold Cable Atlantic to Rogers Communications in order to pursue politics, but retained the naming rights personally. Ultimately Williams chose to name the centre based on the venue's geography.[6]

"Mile One" is a trademark owned by the Williams family's charitable foundation, not the city, meaning that the centre can only use the "Mile One" name so long as it has the family's permission to do so. This implies that if and when Williams's rights expire and are not renewed, the centre might be forced to find a new name, regardless of whether or not a new sponsor is found.[7]

Hockey[edit]

Interior of Mile One Centre

The building was originally home to the St. John's Maple Leafs of the American Hockey League. The Leafs played out of the centre from 2001–2005 before relocating to Toronto, Ontario to become the Toronto Marlies. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) stated that the relocation was necessary to better monitor prospects for the co-owned Toronto Maple Leafs.[8]

The Dobbin family were granted an expansion Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) franchise in 2004 to be later named the St. John's Fog Devils.[9] The Fog Devils began playing at Mile One Centre in 2005. However, the Fog Devils would relocate to Montreal, Quebec, after three seasons in St. John's to become the Montreal Junior Hockey Club. Many reasons were attributed to the Fog Devils' demise including lack of fan support, a poor lease agreement and high travel costs. The Fog Devils' departure left Mile One Centre without a major tenant for the first time since the building opened.[10]

Professional hockey returned to St. John's in 2011 when Winnipeg-based True North Sports and Entertainment announced a lease agreement with former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Danny Williams that saw their AHL franchise (formerly known as the Manitoba Moose) relocated to the Mile One Centre. The St. John's IceCaps played their inaugural season in 2011–12 and as the minor league affiliate of True North's National Hockey League team, the Winnipeg Jets. In honour of this development, the Kraft Hockeyville pre-season game between the Jets and the Ottawa Senators (which was originally to be held in Conception Bay when announced as it was prior to the relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers to become the Jets, causing the Moose to become the IceCaps) was moved to the Mile One Centre.[11] In March 2015, it was announced that the Jets would move their AHL team from St. John's back to Winnipeg as the Moose in 2015–16. The IceCaps' organization was then able to get the Montreal Canadiens' AHL team, the Hamilton Bulldogs, to relocate to St. John's for the start of the 2015–16 season, retaining the IceCaps name.[12] However, this was only a temporary move while the Canadiens built a rink for their AHL team in Laval, Quebec. In 2017, the Canadiens' owned franchise left and became the Laval Rocket.

In 2018, after a year without a hockey tenant at Mile One, St. John's was granted an ECHL expansion team with the Newfoundland Growlers.[13]

Basketball[edit]

After long negotiations, the arena became the home to the St. John's Edge of the National Basketball League of Canada beginning with the 2017–18 season bringing professional basketball to St. John's.[14]

Other sporting events[edit]

The arena hosts the annual Herder Memorial Trophy tournament, the largest hockey tournament in the province. It hosted the 2002 AHL All-Star Game and the 2014 AHL All-Star Game in which the AHL All-Stars faced Färjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League.

On September 22, 2014, Mile One Centre held two split squad preseason games for the Ottawa Senators vs. the New York Islanders. New York won both games 3–2, the latter game on a shootout. The Senators faced the Carolina Hurricanes at Mile One for another preseason game on September 27, 2015.

A National Basketball Association exhibition game between the Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, was cancelled on game night due to an excess of condensation built up on the playing surface due to the inside temperature.

Other hosted sporting events include:

The arena hosted the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier, the Canadian men's curling championship.

Other events[edit]

The Juno Awards were presented at Mile One Centre on April 14, 2002.[15] This marked the first time the awards show officially went on the road outside the provinces of Ontario or British Columbia. In January 2009, it was announced that the Junos were returning to Mile One Centre in April 2010. This made St. John's the first city to host the awards show for a second time since they started traveling the country in 2002.[16]

Mile One Centre was the main venue for the third annual Avalon Expo sci-fi/comics/pop-culture convention on August 25–27, 2017.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mile One Stadium". PBK Architects. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Projects". Olympic Construction Ltd. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  4. ^ "Big Night Planned to Celebrate Opening of Mile One Stadium". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. April 7, 2001. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  5. ^ Revenues From Sports Venues - Naming Rights, retrieved August 9, 2010
  6. ^ Muret, Don (April 9, 2001). "Venue's Name Game Takes New Twist". Amusement Business. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  7. ^ "Canadian Trade-Mark Data: application no. 1084108". Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  8. ^ "Baby Leafs to Leave St. John's After 14 Seasons". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. August 10, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  9. ^ "Saint John, St. John's Awarded QMJHL Franchises". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. December 1, 2004. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  10. ^ Short, Robin (January 26, 2008). "It's Official: Fog Devils Sold". The Telegram. St. John's. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  11. ^ Mirtle, James (August 9, 2011). "NHL Set to Play Preseason Games All Over World". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-13. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  13. ^ "BOARD OF GOVERNORS APPROVES CHANGES FOR 2018-19 SEASON". ECHL. March 13, 2018.
  14. ^ "St. John's city council approves agreement to bring pro basketball to Mile One". CBC News. September 18, 2017.
  15. ^ "St. John's Enjoying Host Role at Junos". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. April 14, 2002. Retrieved July 30, 2011.
  16. ^ "2010 Junos Set for St. John's". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. January 22, 2009. Retrieved July 30, 2011.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Memorial Stadium
Home of the
St. John's Maple Leafs

2001–2005
Succeeded by
Ricoh Coliseum
(as Toronto Marlies)
Preceded by
MTS Centre
(as Manitoba Moose)
Home of the
St. John's IceCaps

2011–2016
Succeeded by
Place Bell
(as Laval Rocket)