Place Bell

Coordinates: 45°33′21″N 73°43′18″W / 45.5558°N 73.7218°W / 45.5558; -73.7218
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Place Bell
Place Bell is located in Quebec
Place Bell
Place Bell
Location in Quebec
Place Bell is located in Canada
Place Bell
Place Bell
Location in Canada
Address1950 Rue Claude-Gagné
LocationLaval, Quebec
Coordinates45°33′21″N 73°43′18″W / 45.5558°N 73.7218°W / 45.5558; -73.7218
Public transit Montmorency station
Bus interchangeTerminus Montmorency
OwnerCity of Laval
OperatorEvenko and Harden
Capacity10,062 (main arena)
2,500 (Olympic-size rink)
500 (practice rink)
Construction
Broke ground2014; 10 years ago (2014)
Opened2017; 7 years ago (2017)
Construction cost$200 million
ArchitectLemay
Tenants
Laval Rocket (AHL) (2017–present)
Montréal (PWHL) (2024–present)
Les Canadiennes de Montreal (CWHL) (2018–2019)
Website
Official Website

Place Bell is a multi-purpose arena in Laval, Quebec, Canada. The complex includes a 10,000-seat main arena, which is the home of the Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League (AHL), and two smaller community ice rinks, one of which has Olympic-size ice. The arena was also home to Les Canadiennes de Montréal for the final season of play in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL). The arena is hosting select games for Montréal of the Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) during the inaugural 2023–24 season.

History[edit]

Construction of Place Bell in 2015.

Construction[edit]

Then-mayor of Laval, Gilles Vaillancourt, announced the project on February 13, 2012.[1] The facility is managed by Evenko, the same company that operates the Bell Centre in Montreal, home of the National Hockey League's Montreal Canadiens. As in the case of the Bell Centre, the naming rights for the Laval arena were acquired by Bell Canada.[2] The cost of the project roughly doubled after it was first announced. Originally announced to cost $92.6 million, the estimate was revised less than a year later to $150 million. In March 2014, Laval's new mayor, Marc Demers, estimated that the cost of Place Bell would be $200 million, because of costs not factored by the previous administration. The Government of Quebec committed to contributing $46 million; Demers asked that the province assume more of the costs, as it did for other arena projects.[3][4]

Place Bell during a 2017 Laval Rocket game against the Syracuse Crunch
Place Bell prior to the 2023 AHL Skills Competition

Initial plans called for the arena to be built in the city's Quartier de l'Agora district, next to the Laval courthouse, but the unstable soil in that location led to a move. In October 2012, the city announced that the project would be located adjacent to the Montmorency station of the Montreal Metro Orange Line.[5] Construction started in late 2014 and was completed in 2017.[5][6]

Major tenants[edit]

On July 11, 2016, the Montreal Canadiens announced that its AHL affiliate, then known as the St. John's IceCaps, would relocate to Place Bell in 2017.[7] On September 8, 2016, the Canadiens announced that the team would be named the Laval Rocket.[8] The Rocket hosted their inaugural game at the arena on October 6, 2017, defeating the Belleville Senators by a score of 3–0.[9] Canadiens owner Geoff Molson and team legend Guy Lafleur both took part in the pre-game ceremonial puck drop; Daniel Audette scored the franchise's first goal, while Charlie Lindgren recorded the shutout.[9] The Rocket's first home playoff game took place on May 12, 2022; the Rocket defeated the Syracuse Crunch by a score of 4–1.[10]

In 2020, it was announced that Place Bell would host the 2022 AHL All-Star game.[11] The 2022 game was ultimately cancelled, and Place Bell hosted the 2023 game on February 6, 2023, instead.[12]

On September 20, 2018, it was announced that the Les Canadiennes de Montréal of the CWHL would be moving to the arena from the Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard, playing both in the main arena and the community rink.[13] Les Canadiennes also moved their daily operations and training camp into the complex. The team played one season at Place Bell before the league and team ceased operations following the 2018–19 season. In their lone season at Place Bell, Les Canadiennes advanced to the Clarkson Cup final by defeating the Markham Thunder in the semi-final at Place Bell; they lost the championship final to the Calgary Inferno.[14][15]

In 2022, Place Bell began hosting NCAA basketball, including the annual Northern Classic Division I tournament, which takes place each November.[16][17] The 2023 event featured six Division I teams.[18]

In 2023, it was announced that Montréal of the new Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) would host select 2023–24 games at Place Bell, with the majority of its home games hosted at Verdun Auditorium.[19] The first game at Place Bell took place on January 16, 2024, with Montréal defeating visiting New York by a score of 3–2.[20]

Tenants[edit]

Current[edit]

Team League Since Championships
Laval Rocket American Hockey League 2017 0
Montréal Professional Women's Hockey League 2023 0

Former[edit]

Team League Years
Les Canadiennes de Montréal Canadian Women's Hockey League 2018–19

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Laval pushes ahead with arena plans". CBC News. 2012-02-13. Archived from the original on 2013-10-16.
  2. ^ "Laval ice complex to be run by management of Habs' Montreal arena". The Hamilton Spectator. 2012-02-13. Archived from the original on 2024-01-17.
  3. ^ Martin C. Barry, "Laval to build Place Bell amphitheatre by 2014", Laval News, February 27, 2012.
  4. ^ "Laval's Place Bell arena to cost $50M more in overruns". CBC News. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b François Gagnon, "Laval: la Place Bell changera d'adresse", La Presse, October 10, 2012 (in French).
  6. ^ "Le déménagement de la Place Bell confirmé", Courrier Laval, October 14, 2012 (in French).
  7. ^ "Canadiens moving AHL affiliate to Laval in 17-18". AHL. 11 July 2016. Archived from the original on 12 July 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  8. ^ "New Laval AHL team will be known as the Rocket". CJAD. September 8, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Dumont, Marc (2017-10-06). "Laval Rocket lift off a success in franchise's inaugural game". The Athletic. Archived from the original on 2024-01-17. Retrieved 2024-01-17.
  10. ^ "Laval Rocket defeat Syracuse Crunch 4-1 to take 2-1 series lead". Toronto Star. The Canadian Press. 2022-05-12. Archived from the original on 2024-01-17. Retrieved 2024-01-17.
  11. ^ "Laval to host All-Star Classic in 2022". The American Hockey League. 2020-08-04. Archived from the original on 2020-09-30. Retrieved 2024-01-17.
  12. ^ "Pacific Division wins thrilling All-Star Challenge". The American Hockey League. 2023-02-06. Archived from the original on 2023-02-19. Retrieved 2024-01-17.
  13. ^ "Les Canadiennes to Play at Place Bell Starting this Fall". Les Canadiennes de Montreal. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  14. ^ Hickey, Pat (2019-03-11). "Les Canadiennes crush defending Clarkson Cup champs to reach final". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 2019-03-19. Retrieved 2024-01-17.
  15. ^ "Calgary Inferno top Canadiennes de Montreal to win 2019 Clarkson Cup". Sportsnet. The Canadian Press. 2019-03-24. Archived from the original on 2022-08-10. Retrieved 2024-01-17.
  16. ^ Hickey, Pat (2022-07-01). "Montreal-area fans who love NCAA basketball are in for a treat". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 2022-07-20. Retrieved 2024-01-17.
  17. ^ Lidbetter, Mark (2022-11-22). "The Northern Classic brings NCAA Division I basketball to Place Bell this weekend". The Suburban. Archived from the original on 2023-12-07. Retrieved 2024-01-17.
  18. ^ "The Northern Classic returns to Place Bell!". Basketball Québec. 2023-10-24. Archived from the original on 2024-01-17. Retrieved 2024-01-17.
  19. ^ Donkin, Karissa (2023-11-30). "PWHL releases full 72-game schedule ahead of inaugural season". CBC Sports. Archived from the original on 2024-01-06. Retrieved 2024-01-14.
  20. ^ "Poulin scores winner, PWHL Montreal beats New York for first win at home". TSN. The Canadian Press. 2024-01-16. Archived from the original on 2024-01-17. Retrieved 2024-01-17.

External links[edit]