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  • Lloyd Brown

Rogers Arena – Vancouver Canucks


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86

Rogers Arena 800 Griffiths Way Vancouver, BC V6B 6G1 Canada

Vancouver Canucks website

Rogers Arena website


Year Opened: 1995

Capacity: 18,630

 

Canucks In Vancouver

Ice hockey has a long and storied history in Vancouver, as it has hosted a professional hockey club since 1911. The Canucks came into the NHL as an expansion franchise in 1970. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the NHL. The team has seen great success, as it has won 10 Division titles and two President’s Trophies over its existence. The Canucks have appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals on three occasions (1982, 1994, 2011) but have never won the series.

The team began its existence at the Pacific Coliseum, where they played through 1995. They then moved to their present home, which at that time was named General Motors Place. It has been known as the Rogers Arena since 2010. This marks the 50th Anniversary Season for the Canucks and their 25th season in the arena. The arena has two levels of general seating, along with a club/suite level. It has one of the largest capacities in the NHL, as it holds 18,910 fans.

Food & Beverage 4

Due to its geographic location and diverse population, Vancouver Canucks games offer a wide selection of concession items. You will find ethnically diverse foods at the Chop (Chinese), VI’s (Indian cuisine) and Gaucho (Argentinian foods) stands. Catch provides fresh seafood that comes from Vancouver Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Other stands offer the more standard stadium fare including Carve (fresh carved sandwiches), Steamers (hot dogs), Crisp (chicken tenders with poutine and fries), Ramago (pizza) and Triple O (hamburgers). Most of the concession stands are found in food court fashion on the corners of the arena concourse.

Atmosphere 4

In Canada, ice hockey reigns supreme, and Vancouver was the first Canadian city on the West Coast to receive an NHL franchise. This has led to a long history of sellouts throughout the club’s 50-year existence. Packed stands lead to a great environment in the seating bowl. The seating areas fill early as the crowds do not want to miss even the warmups. After a few lean years, the Canucks have returned to the upper echelon of the NHL by fielding a hard checking, high speed brand of hockey. This keeps fans really engaged in the game, and you will seldom see anyone leave the game early, even if the Canucks are behind.

The Canucks management does a great job of keeping the enthusiasm high throughout the game by use of clever cheers, innovative use of the video board to create greater energy and plenty of fan involvement activities during lulls in the action. During the 50th Anniversary Season, the franchise has produced an extensive history reel of highlights which is projected onto the ice before the game. It covers everything from playoff wins to top players of the various decades and even a retrospective of the various uniforms the team has worn. It is impossible to forget the “V” uniforms that included brown, red, yellow and orange in a single jersey!

Neighbourhood 5

The Rogers Arena is centrally located in downtown Vancouver. It is next door to BC Place, home of the BC Lions of the CFL and the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS. Vancouver is the largest city in Western Canada and serves as the point of entry for members of the Commonwealth who want to relocate to Canada. As a result, the city is a melting pot of cultures, with a large Asian population as well as a very large First Nations community.

Vancouver has a wide variety of things for fans to do before and after the games. You can check out beautiful English gardens in the morning and Chinatown in the afternoon. Popular sites to check out include the massive Stanley Park with its Northwestern totem poles, the Granville Market along the waterfront or the Gastown entertainment and restaurant district. Any visit to Vancouver should be at least three days long to enjoy all it has to offer.

Fans 5

Hockey long ago captured the hearts of the residents of Vancouver and the entire province of British Columbia. It is the only NHL team in the province so there are no split loyalties that are the case in the neighboring province of Alberta. Even though Vancouver has major league franchises in both the CFL and the MLS, they both lag far behind the Canucks in the size of their fan base. Canuck fans have a rainbow of options when it comes to what jersey to wear to the game, as the team has not been afraid to experiment with color over its history (with some versions better forgotten!). There is a tight bond between the players and the fan base, as it would be hard to detect which player is the star during the introductions, as each one receives a thunderous ovation.

The fans are led in their cheers by Fin, the team’s Orca Whale mascot, along with Mr. P and the Canucks drumline who circulate through the crowd stirring up the fans with some energetic drum riffs. One tradition brought to Vancouver from the lower 48 is the singing of “Sweet Caroline” in the third period. In this case they are led by a faux Neil Diamond known as “Nearly Neill.”

Access 2

There are a variety of routes that will get you to Rogers Arena, as it is centrally located in downtown Vancouver. From the Fraser Valley: Use Highway 1 West. Take the First Avenue exit and follow First to Quebec Street. At the fork in the road go left onto Expo Boulevard, which will deliver you to the arena. From West Vancouver: Cross over the Lion’s Gate Bridge and travel through Stanley Park. Take Georgia Street through downtown to Beatty Street then turn left on Abbott Street. Turn right on Pender then right again onto Abbott Street. From the US Border via I-5: After crossing the border I-5 becomes Highway 99 North. Stay on Highway 99 North, crossing the Oak Street North Bridge. Follow Oak Street north and turn right onto Cambie Street. Take first exit onto Pacific Avenue and the arena.

Vancouver is served by an excellent public transportation system. It has a SkyTrain light rail system with the Stadium-Chinatown station immediately outside of the Rogers Arena and BC Place. This option allows you to miss the major city traffic that is common in Vancouver and is also cost efficient. For more info go to www.translink.ca .

The problems with access begin once you arrive at the arena. The area around the arena is quite congested with new high-rise buildings, which act to block your view of the arena depending on which direction you are coming from. Rogers Arena is also located in between two viaducts with each side being a one-way street. There are several entrances that take you into the arena, but each one is located at a different level within the building, which can be quite confusing. The main concourse is located beneath the viaduct, where it is out of view from the main street leading to the venue. The entrances at the viaduct level bring you in at the 300 (upper level) of the seating bowl. Getting to your seats is even more difficult as Rogers Arena does not have any escalators. You must either utilize three flights of stairs or wait on one of the few elevators in the building to get from the main concourse to the upper level.

The main concourse does not provide you with 360-degree access around the rink, as there are private season ticket holders clubs at each end of the ice. There is a 360-degree concourse at the 300 level. Once in the seating bowl on the 300 level you will find a guardrail between each row in the upper level. This causes you to have an obstructed view of the action depending on your height. The concourses at both the 100 and 300 levels are quite narrow and become very congested as soon as the doors to the building open.

Like all major sports venues, Rogers Arena has strict security rules in place at entry points. It is best to travel as light as possible and carry any items you have in a clear plastic bag.

Return on Investment 3

The Canucks use a variable pricing system for tickets, with Division opponents and other popular teams noted as Premium games. On average you can expect to pay $105 CA for a 100-level seat and $61 CA for a 300-level seat. Parking in lots affiliated with Rogers Arena costs $30 CA. Using the SkyTrain public transportation option costs $10.50 CA for a Day Pass, which allows you unlimited rides throughout the city for a 24-hour period. Concession prices tend to be expensive, but the food quality and number of choices available far exceeds what you would find at other stadiums and arenas.

Extras 4

During the 2010 Winter Olympics Games, Rogers Arena was rechristened as the Canada Hockey Place. It hosted both men’s and women’s ice hockey, in where both of Canada’s teams won the Gold medal.

The arena also hosted the World Figure Skating Championships in 2001.

The Canucks have retired four numbers over the years. Banners honoring Pavel Bure, Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden and Markus Nasland hang from the rafters of Rogers Arena.

The Rogers Arena offers extensive services for persons with disabilities. There are more wheelchair accessible seating locations than are usually found in a sports venue. The video boards in the corners include captioning for the hearing impaired. The Canucks Autism Network (www.canucksautism.ca) features a Quiet Room, visual and video books describing the game experience and headphones to dampen sound.

Final Thoughts

The city of Vancouver and the province of British Columbia are both very popular with tourists due to the spectacular scenery, multiple attractions and a temperate climate by Canadian standards. Any trip to the area during the fall and winter should include a visit to Rogers Arena and a Canucks game. While the arena does not feature some of the amenities found in more modern NHL venues, the franchise still provides a quality fan experience by offering a very competitive team, a diverse menu of concession items and nonstop entertainment throughout the evening.

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