The Rink on Renfrew
|Address||100 North Renfrew Street|
|Location||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Owner||City of Vancouver|
|Operator||Pacific National Exhibition|
|Capacity||Ice hockey: 16,281|
|Opened||January 8, 1968|
|Construction cost||C$6 million|
($42.6 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||Phillips, Barratt, Hillier, Jones and Partners|
W. K. Noppe
|General contractor||CANA Construction|
|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)
The Pacific Coliseum, known to locals as "The Coliseum" or the "Rink on Renfrew," is an indoor arena located at Hastings Park in Vancouver, British Columbia. 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 (Western Hockey League) 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.
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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 colour 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. 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 seating capacity for hockey has progressed as follows:
- 15,038 (1968–1970)
- 15,570 (1970–1978)
- 16,413 (1978–1982)
- 16,553 (1983–1989)
- 16,123 (1989–1992)
- 16,150 (1992–2006)
- 16,281 (2006–present)
The arena hosted the fourth game of the 1972 Summit Series on September 8, when the Soviet Union defeated Canada 5–3. In a famous post-game interview, Phil Esposito voiced his displeasure with the Vancouver crowd's reaction to their loss in an interview that was broadcast on national television.
The WHA Vancouver Blazers started playing at the Coliseum in 1973 when local businessman Jim Pattison bought the team from the Philadelphia Blazers ownership team. The team would last two years before moving to Calgary, becoming the Calgary Cowboys.
The arena hosted its first NHL game on October 9, 1970, where the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Vancouver 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, with the Chicago Blackhawks defeating the Canucks 4-3 to sweep them out of the 1995 Stanley Cup Playoffs in the second round.
The twenty-five year tenure of the Canucks would see the Stanley Cup Finals come to the Coliseum twice; once in 1982, where the New York Islanders would complete their sweep of the Canucks in Vancouver on May 16, 1982, and again in 1994 where they would lose to the New York Rangers in a seven-game thriller. Former owner Arthur Griffiths called the sixth game of the 1994 series, the only Stanley Cup Final game that the Canucks would ever win at the Coliseum, to be "The greatest game ever played at the Pacific Coliseum," and sent the entire city into a frenzy in its wake. The Coliseum would host a viewing of game 7, which the Canucks would lose by a goal, after Nathan LaFayette's potential tying shot went off the post. The Canucks remain the only team in the NHL to have not won the Stanley Cup, but to have been one win away from winning it; a dubious honor that they would repeat in 2011 against the Boston Bruins.
The Pacific Coliseum also played host to the 1977 NHL All-Star Game, which saw the Wales Conference All-Stars defeat the Campbell Conference All-Stars 4-3.
The final NHL goal scored in the arena belongs to the Chicago Blackhawks' Chris Chelios, as the Blackhawks completed a four-game sweep of the Canucks in the 1995 Stanley Cup Playoffs' second round. Roman Oksiuta scored the Canucks' last goal in the building.
The Pacific Coliseum first hosted the Memorial Cup 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, eventually having his #12 retired by the team on November 3, 1991; the first number that the team would retire, and the only one retired by the Canucks during their time at the Coliseum.
After the departure of the Canucks in 1995, hockey returned to the Rink on Renfrew with the inaugural season of the WHL Vancouver Giants in 2001, where they would stay until dwindling attendance numbers would cause them to move to the Langley Events Centre after the 2015–16 season.
In 2006, the Giants were chosen to host the 2007 Memorial Cup Tournament. During this tournament, the arena surpassed the all-time Memorial Cup attendance record; after seven round-robin games 91,808 attended, and the tournament would eventually finish with a total attendance of 121,461. In the same tournament, the Vancouver Giants won their first Memorial Cup championship, by defeating the WHL champion Medicine Hat Tigers, 3–1. The Giants had lost the WHL final in seven games to the Tigers earlier in the season.
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.
In 1972, the Rolling Stones opened their 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.
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.
KISS performed at the PNE Coliseum twice in their 1970s 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.
Aerosmith played at the Coliseum on January 20, 1988, on August 14, 1993, and on October 25, 1997.
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 final shot of first look trailer for the Nintendo Switch was filmed here.
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.
The Pacific Coliseum hosted the League of Legends Championship Series Spring 2017 North American Finals on April 22 and 23, 2017, where Team SoloMid retained its NALCS title against Cloud9 in a five-game series. Usually hosted in Santa Monica, California, it was the second consecutive time that a North American LCS final was held in Canada, after Toronto hosted the Summer 2016 final.
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