The Canadian Tire Centre, formerly called the Scotiabank Place, Palladium and the Corel Centre, is located in suburban Kanata, Ontario. It seats 18,500 for hockey and will include 147 luxury suites. The estimated cost was $240 million (US) for the arena, office tower, hotel, roads and highway interchange. The Ottawa Senators began the 1995-1996 season at the Ottawa Civic Center and opened the Scotiabank Place in January 1996.
The new 18,500-seat arena features 147 private suites and 2,500 club seats, which sports franchises so desperately desire as a means to generate major cash flow. Construction on the Palladium began on July 7, 1994. Ottawa has been plagued by low attendance figures from playing at the outdated Ottawa Civic Center. The Senators played their final game there on New Year's Eve, a 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, closing their all-time record in the Civic Center at 24-85-12 in three-plus seasons, a .248 winning percentage.
Located off Ottawa's main expressway with its own Palladium Drive interchange. Thirty minutes from Ottawa International Airport.
ONTARIO MAY GIVE ARENAS
A TAX BREAK
October 28, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures
Ontario Premier Mike Harris says he might be willing to give the province's sports arenas a tax break to help teams compete against their American counterparts. At the same time, he rejected the idea of a lottery to raise money for teams.
Harris says he will consider assessing the four privately-owned venues, including the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, on the same basis as municipally-owned venues which pay lower taxes.
ONTARIO PROPOSES TAX RELIEF TO SPORTS VENUES
November 4, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures
Ontario's provincial government is considering a tax break for sports venues, but only if local governments also agree to a reduction. The province is considering a
special tax class for sports venues that would save up to $16 million for the facilities that include the Air Canada Centre, SkyDome, Maple Leaf Gardens and the Scotiabank Place.
The Scotiabank Place pays $7 million a year in taxes.
Under the plan, the reduction will only be good if local governments also agree to roll back their tax rates. The province will match the local reduction.
The proposal drew fire from local politicians. Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman said he would not propose a tax reduction.
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
April 9, 2000 &
|Scotiabank Place Ranking by USRT|
|Fan Support|| 7|
|Concourses/Fan Comfort|| 7|
|Bonus: Constable Slewidge|| 3.5|
|Bonus: Marshy's Bar|| 1|
|Total Score|| 59|
February 13, 2003 - Two visits are in the books to the Corel Centre... the first through a harrowing snowstorm and whiteout conditions on the trek from Montreal to Ottawa, while the second trip with clear driving, but temperatures plunging to as low as -19 degrees fahrenheit and not going over the 0 mark. But the journey here is a worthwhile one. The beautiful capital city of Canada, wonderful attractions to visit in the city, and a pretty good hockey city with passionate and knowledgable hockey fans.
Getting to the Venue
The Corel Centre opened its doors in early 1996. Originally called the Palladium, it is located about 15 miles west of downtown Ottawa, literally in the middle of nowhere. There is but one way to get to the arena, and that is to take Highway 417 out of the city. Although this is an expressway, be prepared for massive delays at rush hour; poorly designed entrance and exit ramps just add to the congestion. Unfortunately there are few road alternatives so allow enough time to get to the arena. The Corel Centre is right off the arena with plenty of ramps and roadways to take you right into the parking lots.
Outside the Venue
If you are looking to combine your hockey experience with your lumber and hardware shopping experience, then boy are you in luck! Right next door to the Corel Centre is a Home Depot. That's it... a Home Depot. And a lot of empty space. Plenty of surface parking surrounds the building, with the parking fee fixed at Cdn$10.
The Arena and Concourses
Most fans enter the building on the east side of the building, where there is a large outdoor plaza laid out with mosaic brick pavement. A modest sized atrium lobby greets you as you enter the building. The 100 level doors are straight ahead, and grand staircases are to the left and right, and that leads you to the main concourse in the arena, serving the 200 and 300 levels. To make up for the lack of adjacent attractions, there are many amenities right in the arena, offering a wide array of dining choices before and after the game. Restaurants inside the building include a Hard Rock Cafe, a sports bar called Marshy's just off of the main atrium, a sandwich buffet called the Penalty Box high up in the skybox level, and a brewpub called Silver 7' s, located in a gondola above the 200/300 concourse. That is where you can find the radio post game show broadcast live from the arena. We hung out at Marshy's both times and were surprised at the number of people who stick around for some food and libations after the game - packed crowd, live DJ and plenty of video screens to catch the sports action.
In the concourses, the presence of colorful ad panels, concession marquees and flags dressed up what would otherwise be very drab public areas.
What this building lacks in nice concourses, is more than made up with a sleek, modern yet intimate seating bowl. The arena bowl is laid out in three levels, with the club seats located in the center 100 level seats and the suites at the top of both the 100 and 200 levels. The 4 sided center scoreboard is augmented with a 360 degree digital LED board along the first balcony. The Sens present some great special effects on these boards. Along the second balcony are backlit ad panels and dot matrix information boards. Most of the ad panels here are sponsored by Ottawa's huge and booming high technology companies.
The Senators as we now know them have two division title banners hanging. A unique situation here as they also have nine Stanley Cup banners hanging from the days of the original Ottawa Senators that existed in the early 20th century until the early 30's. Very nice touch as the roadtrippers love franchises that celebrate their history. Also the number 8 hangs in honor of Frank Finnigan, a star of those early Senators.
The usual ballpark dreck is augmented with local chains such as Pizza Pizza and Tim Horton's Donuts. The main team store is called Sensations, and is on the ground floor right off of the main atrium lobby. One of the cool satellite team stores, at the top of the grand staircase, is called "The Originals", and features merchandise from the original six teams and retro Sens merchandise and memorabilia. Very nice!
The 100 level is at ground level (the playing surface is some 30 feet below grade). This concourse is designated the Air Canada Club, and instead of concrete floors, here you will find terrazzo tile floors and teak ceiling accents. Again, lots of dining options here..."The Senate Club" below ground level offering a buffet, the Air Canada Club restaurant with intimate booth seating and picture windows to the concourse, a Rickards Brew Pub and another bar called Frank Finnigans with some great sports displays on the walls. On the north side is a private entrance to the arena and valet parking is available.
Hat Tricks, Assists, Penalties...
Hat Trick - to the BEST rendition of the national anthem in the four sports and something not to be missed. That is the singing of the Canadian anthem by a local icon named Constable Lyndon Slewidge. Dressed in his uniform, he booms "Oh Canada" in English mixed with French, and it is all grand enough to give one chills. The fan interaction kind of reminded us of the days when Kate Smith did her rendition of "God Bless America" at the old Spectrum in Philadelphia.
Assist - Ottawa fans follow the NFL, and in particular our Buffalo Bills. Cable systems here in Ottawa pick up the American stations out of Buffalo and Rochester, so Bills games are a regular staple on Sundays here in Ottawa. We met more than a few fans on both visits who make the trip to Orchard Park with regularity. C'mon down and visit us anytime, Ottawafan!
Hat Trick - to a hilarious beer commercial that appeared during a break in the action. An arrogant American in his office rips on his Canadian coworker about Canada with little verbal jabs and digs about the weather, curling, the accent, and just about anything else Canadian. Finally the Canadian reaches the boiling point and reacts in a truly Canadian fashion, brawling - hockey style....reaching over his back, grabbing the back of his jacket(jersey) and throwing punches underneath at his midsection. I AM CANADIAN!!!!
Assist - Finnigan's, Marshy's, Silver Sevens, note the common theme to the Corel Centre's dining facilities. All are named after noted people and clubs associated with Ottawa's storied hockey history.
Assist - DID YOU KNOW???? The inventor of the great game of basketball- Dr. James Naismith is from the Ottawa area!! His name stands out amongst others at a display showcasing the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame.
Penalty - Can't we ever come here on a normal weather day!!! If it's not driving through 3 feet of snow on an April day, then it is walking out of here and hopping into the car with the thermostat at -20F.....
Hat Trick - to CBC Radio for having us on the Peter Brown show, we did the taping during an intermission and after a few technical glitches everything went well.....thank you CBC!!
The major disappointment is that this venue is located so very far away from the city. Ottawa is such a wonderful place to visit, plenty to see and do being the seat of government, and lots of nightlife, shopping and dining in the center of the city itself. How cool would it be if the Corel Centre were in the middle of all the action. But that being said, we give plusses to the arena for its great seating bowl, the myriad of attractions and restaurants to serve the fans, and last but certainly not least, THE CONSTABLE.
Like Buffalo, the franchise is going through financial turmoil, and is looking for new ownership and stability in an environment where outrageous player salaries far outstrip the revenue streams in the sport. And like Buffalo, these fans deserve a better fate than to have their franchise torn away from their city. Lastly, never discount the hockey experience in ANY Canadian city... Ottawa hangs with the best of them!