Pacific Coliseum

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Pacific Coliseum
The Rink on Renfrew
Location 100 North Renfrew Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
V5K 3N7
Coordinates 49°17′9″N 123°2′34″W / 49.28583°N 123.04278°W / 49.28583; -123.04278Coordinates: 49°17′9″N 123°2′34″W / 49.28583°N 123.04278°W / 49.28583; -123.04278
Owner City of Vancouver
Operator City of Vancouver
Capacity Ice hockey: 16,281
Concerts: 17,500
Broke ground 1966
Opened January 8, 1968[4]
Renovated 1984, 2007
Expanded 1984
Construction cost C$6 million[1]
($40.5 million in 2016 dollars[2])
Architect Phillips, Barratt, Hillier, Jones and Partners[3]
W. K. Noppe
General contractor CANA Construction[3]
Vancouver Canucks (WHL) (1968–1970)
Vancouver Canucks (NHL) (1970–1995)
Vancouver Nats (WHL) (1972–1973)
Vancouver Blazers (WHA) (1973–1975)
Vancouver Whitecaps (NASL Indoor) (1979–1984)
Vancouver Voodoo (RHI) (1994–1995)
Vancouver Giants (WHL) (2001–2016)
XXI Olympic Winter Games (2010)

Pacific Coliseum is an indoor arena located at Hastings Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Its main use has been for ice hockey and the arena has been the home for several ice hockey teams. The arena is the former home of the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Other hockey tenants of the Pacific Coliseum have been the Vancouver Canucks (WHL), from 1968 to 1970, Vancouver Canucks (National Hockey League), from 1970 to 1995, the Vancouver Nats (WHL) from 1972 to 1973 the Vancouver Blazers (World Hockey Association), from 1973 to 1975 and the Vancouver Voodoo (Roller Hockey International), from 1994 to 1995.

It was completed in 1968, on the site of the Pacific National Exhibition. Originally holding 15,038 for ice hockey, capacity has fluctuated slightly over the years and currently holds 16,281. During the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, it was the venue for figure skating and short track speed skating. The arena also hosts a variety of concerts and other events.


Designed by W. K. Noppe in 1966–67, with its simple geometric shape and distinctive ring of white panels, the building can be classified as formalist architecture. Used initially as home to the WHL's Vancouver Canucks, the building was used to attract an NHL franchise in 1970 and a World Hockey Association franchise in 1973. The Coliseum underwent renovations and additions in the late 1970s, but its role as host of an NHL team and a main venue for events in Vancouver was lost with the building of General Motors Place (now Rogers Arena) in 1995.

The original centre-hung scoreclock was replaced during the 1985 renovations (this renovation work included seismic upgrades to the facility) by a new four-sided centre-hung scoreclock with color matrix animation/matrix displays along with electronic message boards across the bottom on each side (the original sponsors for this clock were Imperial Tobacco and Molson Brewery), which in 2007 was replaced by a four-sided Daktronics scoreboard with a video display on each side.

Recent renovations were completed in 2007 to upgrade accessibility, seating, HVAC, and ice surface for its use as a venue for the 2010 Winter Olympics.[5] During the renovations prior to the Olympics major upgrades were done to the ice plant at the Pacific Coliseum. The adjacent Agrodome ice plant was decommissioned and both buildings now share the same system located at the Coliseum.

The City of Vancouver named the Pacific Coliseum a heritage site in August 2013.[6]

Seating capacity[edit]

The seating capacity for hockey has gone as followed:

  • 15,038 (1968–1970)[7]
  • 15,570 (1970–1978)[8]
  • 16,413 (1978–1982)[9]
  • 16,553 (1983–1989)[10]
  • 16,123 (1989–1992)[11]
  • 16,150 (1992–2006)[12]
  • 16,281 (2006–present)[13]

Notable events[edit]

On September 7, 1968 Jimi Hendrix performed at the Coliseum with his band The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

On December 28, 1968, rock group Led Zeppelin opened for Vanilla Fudge. This would be the first of several concerts for the band at the Pacific Coliseum over the next decade. Led Zeppelin would go on to base several of their North American tour operations from Vancouver and the Pacific Coliseum in the early 1970s.[14]

On June 6, 1970 The Doors performed at the Coliseum with Albert King.

In 1972 the Rolling Stones opened their 1972 tour in support of their iconic album Exile On Main Street at the Pacific Coliseum. The band performed "Ventilator Blues" off the Exile album for the only time in their storied career at this concert. Stevie Wonder performed as the opening act.[15]

On November 2, 1974, George Harrison performed the first of a series of concerts that would form his infamous Dark Horse Tour. This tour marked not only the first North American Tour by a former-Beatle, but also Harrison's last tour for 17 years.[16]

The arena hosted its first NHL game on October 9, 1970. The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Canucks 3–1 in the Canucks' NHL debut. The Kings' Bob Berry scored the first goal, with Barry Wilkins scoring the first goal for the Canucks. Its final NHL game was played May 27, 1995. Chris Chelios scored the arena's last NHL goal in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks eliminated the Canucks in the Western Conference Semifinals. Roman Oksiuta scored the last Canucks goal.

On October 16, 1970, the anti-nuclear protest group Don't Make a Wave Committee held a concert at the Pacific Coliseum and managed raise funds for a demonstration against nuclear testing by The United States. The demonstration marked the beginning of the environmental organization Greenpeace.[17]

The Bee Gees played here on July 15, 1979 during the first leg of their North American Spirits Having Flown Tour.

KISS performed at the PNE Coliseum twice in their 1970's heyday. The 1st was on July.24.1977 "Love Gun Tour" with Cheap Trick opening guests. On November.19.1979 KISS played on their "Dynasty Tour" with Vancouver's own Loverboy as opening act. It was Loverboy's 1st live show ever.

Nazareth recorded their live album 'Snaz in May 1981.

The 1982 and 1994 Stanley Cup Finals featured games at the arena. On May 16, 1982, the New York Islanders beat the Canucks 3–1 and were awarded the Stanley Cup on the ice. On June 11, 1994, the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks met at the Coliseum in game six of the Stanley Cup Finals. Jeff Brown and Geoff Courtnall each scored twice as the Canucks won the game 4–1 to even the series at three games apiece. The game, which Canucks owner Arthur Griffiths called "the greatest game ever played at Pacific Coliseum", was the only time in five attempts that the Canucks won a Finals game at the Coliseum. Three nights later, when the Canucks lost game seven at New York by a 3–2 score, Pacific Coliseum was full of fans watching the game on video screens.[18]

In 1977, the NHL All-Star Game was played at Pacific Coliseum, with the Wales Conference defeating the Campbell Conference 4-3.

The arena hosted the fourth game of the 1972 Summit Series on September 8, with the Soviet Union beating Canada 5–3. In a famous post-game interview, Phil Esposito gave an emotional response to the booing of the crowd that was broadcast on national television.

The arena was one of four arenas to play host to the 2006 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

The arena was used for the Madison Square Garden scene in the movie Miracle as well as Slam Dunk Ernest. The dog show scenes from Best in Show were filmed here. The Coliseum has also played host to WWE's weekly live television broadcast of WWE Raw, as well as the now defunct WCW "New Blood Rising" pay per view.

David Bowie's performances, during his Serious Moonlight Tour, on September 11–12, 1983, were filmed and released, on VHS, in 1984 and re-released, as a DVD, in 2006.

American band Pearl Jam played at the arena on September 25, 2011, as part of the band's 20th anniversary celebrations.[19]

Alexisonfire played in the Coliseum on December 17, 2012, for their farewell tour.

On March 18, 2016 the Vancouver Giants played their final game at the Coliseum where they would move to the Langley Event Centre. This has been marked of the last hockey game to ever play in the Coliseum.

Memorial Cup[edit]

Towels laid out on each seat at the Pacific Coliseum prior to the 2007 Memorial Cup final.

The arena has hosted two Memorial Cup tournaments, each of which was won by a Vancouver-area team.

The first tournament was held in 1977 when Stan Smyl and the New Westminster Bruins won their first Memorial Cup championship by defeating the Ottawa 67's, 6–5. Smyl would eventually have a successful thirteen-year NHL career playing with the Vancouver Canucks at the arena. In addition, his #12 jersey number was retired by the Canucks on November 3, 1991, at the arena, where it hung in the rafters until being moved to General Motors Place in 1995.

In 2006, the Giants were chosen to host the 2007 Memorial Cup Tournament May 18–27. During this tournament, the arena surpassed the all-time Memorial Cup attendance record, after only seven round-robin games with 91,808 and would eventually finish with a total attendance of 121,461. In the same tournament, the Vancouver Giants won the Memorial Cup championship, by defeating the Medicine Hat Tigers, 3–1.

2010 Olympics[edit]

During the 2010 Games, the arena hosted the figure skating and short-track speedskating events for the 2010 Winter Olympics.[20]


  1. ^ Constantineau, Bruce (September 30, 2009). "From Renfrew to Downtown the Griffiths Way". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved November 15, 2009. 
  2. ^ Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". 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) Last modified 2016-01-22. Retrieved March 2, 2016
  3. ^ a b Pacific Coliseum Original Construction
  4. ^ Rud, Jeff (2006). Canuck Legends, Vancouver's Hockey Heroes. Raincoast Books. ISBN 978-1-55192-809-8. 
  5. ^ "More info: Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics". VANOC. Retrieved February 13, 2010. 
  6. ^ PNE attractions named as heritage sites. News1130 (2013-08-28). Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  7. ^ "Vancouver, Buffalo to Join NHL". Calgary Herald. The Canadian Press. December 3, 1969. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Harrison Has His Wish Granted". Leader-Post. Regina, SK. The Canadian Press. March 4, 1978. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  9. ^ Olson, Arv (December 29, 1980). "St. Liut and a Little Luck Save Blues". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Scoring Machine Is Tough to Stop". Leader-Post. Regina, SK. The Canadian Press. December 28, 1985. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  11. ^ Crowe, Jerry (December 14, 1991). "Canuckling Down Vancouver Has Proved Playoff Surge Was No Fluke". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  12. ^ Bromley, Jeff (September 11, 2002). "Vancouver's Memorial Cup Bid Puzzling". Hockey's Future. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Rotation is Good: Toigo". Leader-Post. Regina, SK. The Canadian Press. October 22, 2008. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  14. ^ Official Website. Led Zeppelin (1973-07-18). Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  15. ^ Shidoobee With Stonesdoug web site
  16. ^ [1]. Retrieved on 4-11-2014.
  17. ^ Lost 1970 Amchitka Concert Featuring Joni Mitchell and James Taylor Surfaces The Wall Street Journal, November 22, 2009
  18. ^ Hockey Night in Canada: Game 7 of 1994 Stanley Cup Finals. CBC Sports (television). Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. June 14, 1994. 
  19. ^ "Pearl Jam reveals WI Labor Day Festival". Billboard. May 17, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  20. ^ profile.

External links[edit]