January 31st, 2010 Ottawa, ON @ Scotiabank Place


After another amazing show in Toronto….CIty of a losers soccer team, the GnR train is rolling up tomorrow in Ottawa.  Next stop will be in Quebec city where I am going.  Can’t wait!

SET LIST:

History

As part of its bid to land a NHL franchise for Ottawa, Terrace Corporation unveiled the original proposal for the arena development at a press conference in September 1989. The proposal included a hotel and 20,500 seat arena, named The Palladium on 100 acres (0.40 km2), surrounded by a 500-acre (2.0 km2) mini-city, named “West Terrace.” The site itself, 600 acres (2.4 km2) of farmland, on the western border of Kanata, had been acquired in May 1989 by Terrace. The large site had previously been a possible location for a new home for the Central Canada Exhibition, but the Exhibition’s option on the property had expired.

The site was farmland and required a rezoning to proceed with construction. The then-City of Kanata supported the rezoning, but the provincial government and some local residents opposed the rezoning, forcing public hearings into the proposal by the Ontario Municipal Board. Rezoning approval was granted by the Board on August 28, 1991, with conditions. The conditions imposed by the board included a scaling down of the arena to 18,500 seats, a moratorium on development outside the initial 100-acre (0.40 km2) arena site, and that the cost of the highway interchange with highway 417 be paid by Terrace. A ground-breaking ceremony was held in June 1992 but actual construction did not start until July 7, 1994.

The two year period was used seeking financing for the site and interchange by Terrace Corporation. The corporation received a $6 million grant from the federal government, but needed to borrow to pay for the rest of the costs of construction. On August 17, 1993, Bruce Firestone, the Senators owner, was replaced by Rod Bryden, a former high tech tycoon, who assumed control of Terrace Corporation. Bryden managed to borrow enough to pay for the $188 million project[2] through a consortium of U.S. banks and Ogden Entertainment, but could not find financing for the highway interchange. Only after the provincial government provided a loan guarantee for the highway interchange financing did construction proceed.

The interior of the Scotiabank Place. Picture inset taken before a playoff game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Actual construction took 18 months, finishing in January 1996. The Palladium opened on January 15, 1996 with a concert by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams. The first NHL game took place two days later, with the Montreal Canadiens defeating the Senators 3-0. On February 17, 1996 the name ‘Palladium’ was changed to the ‘Corel Centre’ when Corel Corporation, an Ottawa software company, signed a 10-year deal for the naming rights.[3]

When mortgage holder Covanta Energy (the former Ogden Entertainment) went into receivership in 2001, Terrace was expected to pay off the whole debt. The ownership was not able to refinance the arena, eventually leading to Terrace itself declaring bankruptcy in 2003. However, on August 26 2003, billionaire businessman Eugene Melnyk finalized the purchase of the Senators and the arena.[1] The arena and club became solely owned by Melnyk through a new company, Capital Sports Properties.

In 2004, the ownership applied to expand its seating. The City of Ottawa amended its by-laws in December 2004 and in 2005, the venue was allowed to increase its seating capacity to 19,153 and total attendance to 20,500 when including standing room.[1][4]

Also in 2005, the arena became home to the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, with a display on the second-floor concourse. Information of over 200 inductees is detailed on individual plaques. The exhibit display had previously been located at the Ottawa Civic Centre since 1967.[5] The space is donated by Scotiabank Place.

On January 19, 2006, the arena became known as ‘Scotiabank Place’ after reaching a new 15 year naming agreement with Canadian bank Scotiabank on January 11, 2006.[6][7] Scotiabank had been an advertising partner with the club for several years and took over the naming after Corel declined to renew its naming agreement with the Senators, but continued as an advertising sponsor.

[edit] Location

Although widely acknowledged as a well-designed arena, it has been criticized in the years since construction for being difficult to reach. It is located in the far west-end of Ottawa, in the former city of Kanata, which puts it at a fair distance from some parts of the National Capital Region, especially from the east-end of Ottawa or from the Outaouais region. Difficulties are compounded by frequent traffic congestion at game time along the Queensway (417) highway, Palladium Drive and Terry Fox Drive. Another problem is the isolation of the arena from many restaurants and bars, which makes it difficult for celebrations to continue naturally after the game as in many other more centrally located arenas.

[edit] Notable events

  • April 6, 2003 – The Juno Awards were held at Scotiabank Place, hosted by Shania Twain. The Awards ceremony was the final event in the “Juno Weekend” series of events in Ottawa.
  • June 2, 2007 – The venue hosted its first Stanley Cup Finals match when the Senators hosted the Anaheim Ducks and won 5-3. This game recorded an attendance of 20,500.
  • May 1, 2008 – Scotiabank Place hosted The Police, who were giving a concert on their 2008 tour.
  • June 1, 2009 – Scotiabank Place hosted the pianist duo of Elton John and Billy Joel, who were giving a concert on their 2009 tour. The audience attendance was 18,000, including standing room.
  • Metallica played for a record capacity crowd for a concert at Scotiabank Place, for just under 20,000 people on November 3, 2009.

[edit] Facilities

Scotiabank Place has facilities for ice hockey and basketball, games which are held regularly. Scotiabank Place has also hosted indoor lacrosse. Scotiabank has different configurations for concerts, with full and half arena seating arrangements. The building has six restaurants and a fitness club. Most of the restaurants are only open on game days. The Ottawa Senators operate a merchandise store next to the east entrance.

Scotiabank’s seating is in three levels, 100, 200 and 300, which are fixed sections surrounding the arena floor. The levels start with the 100 or ‘club’ level closest to the ice surface rising further up and away to the 300 level.There are suites in the 100 level and at the mezzanine level which is above the 300 level. There is a restaurant opening onto the 300 level at one end of the arena, and there is a low-price area in the 300 level at the other end, which doesn’t allow alcohol. The 100 level has its own concourse while levels 200 and 300 share a concourse. The Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame exhibit is on the 200/300 level concourse. The mezzanine level is only reachable by elevator.

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