Number 8:
WFCU Centre
Windsor Spitfires
Windsor, Ontario


The WFCU Centre is a worthy replacement to the old Windsor Arena, maintaining much of the old building's character and charm while providing updated facilities. However, the new rink's suburban wasteland location, bottlenecked concourses and already legendary pre- and post-game traffic snarls drag the marks down. Still, as new arenas go, the highs don't come much higher, and the WFCU Centre proves the exception to the rule that a new rink has to mean subdued crowds and gradually sloping seats.

SCORE: 620/700

Architecture: Grade B
Lacking a neighbourhood to blend into, the designers of the WFCU Centre could have pretty much done whatever they wanted. The shame is that they chose a yellow brick and siding that blend into the surrounding fields rather than standing out. It's pretty much generic suburbia, with no real highs or lows.

Interior Layout and Design: Grade C
Between the far-too-narrow concourses and the restaurant in one end, it's impossible to walk all the way around the concourse in Windsor, and the bottlenecks make it so you wouldn't really want to try anyway.

Seating: Grade A+
The WFCU Centre's best feature is its seating. The Spits kept one of the best features of the Windsor Arena - the impossibly steep angle - while providing plastic comfort and no obstructed views. There isn't a bad seat in the house, and it sets a high bar for any new arena that's come before or since.

Scoreboard: Grade A+
A terrific technical setup features a brand new video board combined with a pair of ribbon boards. However, the A+ grade comes from the Spitfires using them fantastically. The team has a great graphics package and use the video to its utmost.

Arena Employees: Grade B
Thankfully, the Spitfires didn't move their old arena staff over with them from the old rink. The ushers have actually heard of the concept of "Customer Service" now, and security looks out for everyone, not just Spits fans.

Facilities: Grade C
For a new arena, pitiful. There are nowhere near enough parking spaces, and the lots both fill and clear at a snail's pace. Building management hope that the situation improves once the wreckage of the Lear Plant is finally cleared away, but for now the traffic situation actually makes Brampton look good. At least the washrooms are plentiful enough.

Atmosphere: Grade A+
The WFCU Centre is a worthy replacement for the Windsor Arena. While it's not without its flaws, the jaw-dropping atmosphere from the old Barn hasn't been lost at the new arena. Going to a Spitfires game is safer than it used to be, and the travelling fan can now enjoy the atmosphere instead of being frightened by it.


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