Alexanders

Brantford Alexanders

Arena Name: Brantford Civic Centre
Capacity: 2,981
Built: 1967
Last Game: 1984
Address: 69-79 Market Street S. Brantford, ON, N3S 2E4
Ice Surface Size: 190' X 85'
OHL Championships: None
Memorial Cup Championships: None

OHL

 Brantford Civic Centre

Brantford Civic Centre

 What Was the Arena Like?

Back in the 1970's, Brantford seemed to be the OHL's Next Big Thing. A relatively new downtown arena had opened in the city not too long before, and teams seemed to be vying with each other to give the city a try. In fact, the Toronto Marlboros played numerous home games out of the building throughout the decade when Maple Leaf Gardens was over-booked with other events. Yet when the former Hamilton Fincups finally moved in and gave the Telephone City a try, low attendance and financial struggles were the norm for a remarkably successful team, and so they de-camped after only six years. Brantford is still waiting for a second chance at the OHL, something that seems less and less likely now.

The Brantford Civic Centre is a great big yellow building set on parkland on the edge of Brantford's depressed downtown. From the outside it stands out from a distance and its bulk looks massive on open land. The Civic Centre was a Centennial project and is one of the Sixtiest buildings I think I've ever seen. Everything about it screams its age. Pale yellow aluminum siding is the building material of choice, and the city's coat of arms on the front is virtually the only decoration. There is a small office set off to one side along with a community centre-type room but the main entrance is still some solid wooden front doors leading directly into the arena, the way it should be.

Inside, the Civic Centre wears its middle age poorly. It doesn't appear to have been very well-kept and there are cracked ceiling tiles and poor lighting in the office entrance. Still, upon entering into the arena bowl all that is forgotten. The seats, magnificent in red, blue and gold, are 35-year-old originals but look fantastic, and the arena looks much larger than its 3,000 seats. The seating area extends all around the ice and the layout is a standard "four corner" design with stairs leading to an upper concourse. The Civic Centre is strikingly similar to other 1960's rinks such as the old Oshawa Civic Auditorium and London Gardens. There are banners from various Brantford hockey teams and memorabilia all over the place. The best, though, was finding that the old Alexanders' team photos were still on the walls, showcasing the old team. The Alexanders were surprisingly good in their brief Brantford run and future NHLers like Ric Natress, Allen Bester, Dave Gagner and Mark Hunter can be found in the team photos.

No one today thinks of Brantford as the Next Big Thing. The city is probably too small and too close to other OHL cities to be seriously considered. Yet the Civic Centre soldiers on as a Junior B rink, with signs of its former glory still visible on the walls, and one can see the reason it was so attractive to outside interests once upon a time - it's one of southern Ontario's largest rinks without an OHL team, and with a few renovations, it could be brought up to code again in the unlikely event that demand should ever warrant it.

 Inside Brantford Civic Centre

Brantford Civic Centre

 What's the Arena Used for Today?
The Civic Centre is still used in Brantford for all levels of hockey, the top one being the Brantford 99ers Junior A team.

 Feedback
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at Email and I'll update the guide.


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Last Revised: December 6, 2019