Mountain Arena is a big brown-brick building built on the unfashionable suburban top of Hamilton Mountain. It's located directly off the Lincoln Alexander Parkway. From the outside it's strangely unattractive and falls into the "ugly mistake" school of architecture so popular in the 1960's.
Inside, things are a little bit better. Once in the front door you find yourself in a long hallway painted Hamilton Red Wing red. The walls are covered with collages detailing Hamilton sports history, including one collage about the building of Copps Coliseum and another one showing pictures of every arena in the city of Hamilton. At the each end of the hallway is a stairway leading up into the arena bowl.
Mountain Arena is small even by old-school OHL building standards. There are only about 10 rows of blue seats and they stretch all around the building. There is a big Red Wing logo painted at centre-ice. Strangely, there is no centre-ice scoreboard - instead there is only a few flags hanging. The score-clocks are both in the ends, behind the goalies. The arena design is the standard "four-corner" design with a top concourse that was so popular in the 1960's.
Mountain Arena was used on a permanent basis by the OHL as temporary stopgap solutions between the demolition of the Forum and the construction of Copps Coliseum. I later found out that the Dukes of Hamilton also scheduled games there during their last year in Hamilton, when having a few hundred fans at Copps Coliseum would have been just too depressing to contemplate. It is conceivable that the OHL could use it on a temporary basis again if it were ever needed, but with the Bulldogs safely ensconced at Copps today and major renovations planned, it seems quite unlikely that we will ever see Mountain Arena used as a major junior facility again.
Inside Mountain Arena
What's the Arena Used for Today?
Mountain Arena was renovated in the early 2010's, though a subsequent visit by me found no appreciable changes to the building's interior or exterior apart from extending the netting 360 degrees around the ice, making it impossible to get a better picture than the one you see above. At that time, the building was also renamed "Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena" in honour of the Hamilton hockey star. The rink still hosts minor and recreational hockey.
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