Yardmen Arena

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Yardmen Arena
Yardmen Arena.JPG
Former names Quinte Sports Centre
Location 265 Canifton Road, Belleville
Owner City of Belleville
Operator City of Belleville
Capacity Hockey: 3,257
Field size 60M X 30M
Surface Multi-surface
Construction
Broke ground 1976
Opened 1978
Tenants
Belleville Bulls (OHL) (1981–2015)
Belleville Senators (AHL) (beginning in 2017)

Yardmen Arena is a 3,257 seat multi-purpose arena in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. It was built in 1978, and was then known as the Quinte Sports Centre. It is the former home of the Ontario Hockey League's Belleville Bulls, who moved to Hamilton, Ontario following the 2014-15 season and became the Hamilton Bulldogs. The Yardmen Arena has hosted the OHL All-Star Game twice, in 1983 and 2006. It is the future home of the Belleville Senators American Hockey League (AHL) team starting in 2017.

Description[edit]

The arena has an international sized ice surface of 200 ft. length by 100 ft. width. It is the largest ice surface in the Ontario Hockey League. Yardmen Arena also has two balconies, on opposite sides of the ice. It was the only arena in the Ontario Hockey League to have a second level of seating until Budweiser Gardens was built in London, Ontario in 2002. The arena's name is in honour of a small group of railroaders known as "The Belleville Yardmen" who raised more than $3 million to contribute to its construction.

The Quinte Sports Hall of Fame is located in the lobby at the south end of the arena. Many photos and memories are located in there. The Belleville Bulls annual team photos are on display at the north end of the arena on the second level.

The arena is one of four ice rinks in the Quinte Health and Wellness Centre complex.

History[edit]

The arena was opened in 1978. The Belleville Bulls as a Junior Tier II team in the OHA. On February 2, 1981, the OHL granted an expansion franchise to the city of Belleville and the ownership group of Dr. Robert L. Vaughan & Bob Dolan. The Bulls became a major junior team in the OHL. The team played in the arena until 2015, when it was sold and moved to Hamilton.

Yardmen Arena hosted an NHL pre-season game between the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets on September 14, 2013 as part of the Kraft Hockeyville festivities. Nearby Stirling-Rawdon won the Kraft Hockeyville contest in 2012, but the original game scheduled between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets was cancelled due to the 2012-13 NHL lockout.

During the 2015-16 hockey season, Yardmen Arena hosted three Federal Hockey League games. The FHL is a minor professional league in operation since the 2010-11 season, with six teams and 2 inactive teams, and should Belleville gain a franchise, their nearest opponent would be just across the US/Canada border, about 100 miles to the East, in Watertown, NY, home of the Watertown Wolves. The 'home' team for the games was the Berlin River Drivers, and the opponents were the Port Huron Prowlers on December 12, the Danbury Titans on January 2, and the Dayton Demolition on February 13.[1]

In the summer of 2016, it was reported that the Ottawa Senators are considering moving their American Hockey League affiliate, then known as the Binghamton Senators, to Yardmen Arena for the 2017–18 AHL season.[2] Upgrades would have to be made to accommodate an AHL franchise including repairing the boards, the floor refrigeration system, and increasing the arena's capacity.[3] The transfer was confirmed in September 2016, after Belleville City Council approved a $18.5 million upgrade to the arena. The upgrades include an increase in capacity to 4,400, a new NHL-sized rink, new home team dressing room, new refrigeration system, new score clock, new washrooms and a new public entrance.[4] The Belleville Senators will lease the arena for eight years.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Federal Hockey League | Pointstreak Stats". Fhl_league.stats.pointstreak.com. Retrieved 2016-09-26. 
  2. ^ "Binghamton Sens moving north to Belleville say Broome County officials". Ottawa Citizen. July 9, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Report: Sens to move AHL affiliate to Belleville | The Hockey News". www.thehockeynews.com. Retrieved July 9, 2016. 
  4. ^ "$20.5 Million upgrades approved for Yardmen Arena - Quinte News". Quinte News. September 26, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°11′19″N 77°22′58″W / 44.18861°N 77.38278°W / 44.18861; -77.38278