In the 1960s, the City of Ottawa was preparing to rebuild the football stadium at Lansdowne Park, on Bank Street at the Rideau Canal. During the planning phase, the old Ottawa Auditorium arena was demolished and the City now needed two new sports venues. The City combined plans and the Civic Centre arena was built together with the north grandstand of the football stadium. The combination has meant that the arena is rather oddly shaped, one side of the arena is actually located beneath the upper part of the stadium grandstand, with the result that it has a much lower ceiling than the opposite side of the arena.
Dominion Bridge was the supplier of the huge steel girders for the arena and stadium's frame, some so large they had to be brought to the site by barge, up the Ottawa River and down the Rideau Canal. According to Dominion Bridge "the most striking feature of the unique design concept is a giant overhanging roof reaching out 170 degrees from atop eight massive steel A-frames."
It opened on December 29, 1967, though seating was not complete, for an Ottawa 67s game versus the Montreal Junior Canadiens. Seats were taken temporarily from the Coliseum building nearby. The football stadium and arena complex was Ottawa's official "Centennial Project." Federal government grant money depended on the facility opening in 1967, and construction was rushed to meet the deadline.
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
January 2007 - This arena sports a unique look and feel in that it is entirely contained in the underside of the bleachers of a football stadium. As a result the entire roof slopes downward to the far side of the rink, and the bulk of the seating straddles one sideline and the end zones. The team is heavy on promotions - lots of mascots, cheerleaders, raffles, the game here is almost secondary. At 10,000 seats, this is a pretty big venue by junior standards, and served as the original home of the NHL Ottawa Senators for several seasons before their new arena
opened. The 67's are coached by the legendary Brian Kilrea, who is starting his 4th decade
with the team.
July 16, 2009
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The Ottawa 67's will sell naming rights to the Civic Center at Lansdowne Park. The winning company or individual will be selected by a drawing. Entrants will pay C$1,000 per chance. The one-year sale includes changes in some signage. All entrants will receive two regular-season tickets and a night in a luxury suite. One of the aims of the contest is to help to fill some of the approximately 1,800 empty chairs per game in the arena that seats 9,800.