Rogers Place in Ed­mon­ton, Al­berta

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

What’s up: The NHL’s arena tran­si­tion con­tin­ues. After mak­ing its fi­nal ap­pear­ance at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Satur­day, the Avalanche moves on to play its first game ever in Ed­mon­ton’s new $480 mil­lion down­town arena against the Oil­ers next Satur­day.

Back­ground: Rogers Place has re­placed the old North­lands Coli­seum — which went through sev­eral name changes since its 1974 com­ple­tion — as the Oil­ers’ home. The new arena’s lo­ca­tion and plans to turn the area around it into a vi­brant “Ice District” is a boon for down­town. Last week, NHL com­mis­sioner Gary Bettman got his first look at the arena since its com­ple­tion and called it “noth­ing short of phenom­e­nal. The way it’s put to­gether is in­ge­nious. It is cre­ated and crafted and it has ev­ery amenity imag­in­able. The fin­ish­ing touches and the way the build­ing flows and the sight lines, in­cred­i­ble.”

Frei’s take: The phas­ing out of the league’s older are­nas will be nearly com­plete — or com­plete, de­pend­ing on your def­i­ni­tion of terms. The old­est NHL arena, Madi­son Square Gar­den, opened in 1968 and es­sen­tially was re­built from 2010-13. The next old­est in use next sea­son after the Red Wings move into Lit­tle Cae­sars Arena will be the Sco­tia­bank Sad­dle­dome in Cal­gary, which was com­pleted in 1983, and the Honda Cen­ter in Ana­heim and the SAP Cen­ter in San Jose, both fin­ished in 1993. The Oil­ers’ sit­u­a­tion long has been sim­i­lar to what it would be like here if the Avalanche had con­tin­ued to play at McNi­chols Sports Arena un­til now.

Rogers Place, the $480 mil­lion home of the Ed­mon­ton Oil­ers, is “noth­ing short of phenom­e­nal,” NHL com­mis­sioner Gary Bettman says. Getty Im­ages

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