Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta
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