Former Arenas of the Western Hockey League - Eastern Conference
Rimrock Auto Arena
(formerly the METRA Park Arena)
Former Home of the Billings Bighorns
In the summer of 2015 Mrs OHLAG and I drove across the United States en route to her sister's wedding in Vancouver. I hadn't been planning to stop off in Billings to see a five year (1977-82) curiosity like the METRA Park Arena, but our original plan to spend the day in Yellowstone National Park was 86'ed by a massive snowstorm in the high altitudes (n.b: this was a July 17 snowstorm). So with no other brilliant ideas, we availed ourselves of an indoor waterpark in town, went to the mall, and checked out the arena. I couldn't get into the seating bowl (my considerable internet fame doesn't apparently help when no one remembers the Bighorns, or at any other time), but the arena seemed nice enough. It was hit by a powerful enough tornado in 2010 to necessitate a massive renovation - check the video on YouTube if you want to see the power of nature.
For what it's worth, Billings itself is half industrial and half rodeo and is very very boring. We ran out of stuff to do mid-afternoon and headed to Bozeman, which if you're ever in the area, is a really cool college town with all of the restaurants, shops and museums that Billings lacks.
Bell MTS Place
Former Home of the Brandon Wheat Kings
When designing arenas these days, it seems that cities generally go up to 10,000 seats or so for minor league tenants, and then jump to 18,000 seats for the NHL. MTS Centre is one of the rare new buildings that splits the difference, with 15,000 seats for the Jets, and as a result it feels far more intimate than any other NHL arena built since the 1990's. It's been used by the Brandon Wheat Kings on occasion since 2004, generally as a second home while the Royal Winter Fair in Brandon evicts the Wheaties from their usual home.
Former Home of the Calgary Centennials and Wranglers
The Stampede Corral was built in 1950 on the grounds of the Calgary Stampede as the main arena for the city of Calgary - to the point that this picture was taken from the steps of the Saddledome. It was used by a variety of Calgary teams over the years, including the WHL's Centennials and Wranglers. The NHL's Flames also played in the building between their move to Alberta in 1980 and the construction of the new Olympic Saddledome, built a stone's throw away in 1983. The Corral is still open today and is used for a variety of functions, including the annual Stampede. The Corral was also used in the 1988 Winter Olympics as a secondary venue for hockey and figure skating.
Former Home of the Edmonton Oil Kings
Northlands Coliseum was built in the 1970's for the Edmonton Oilers and was their home until the opening of Rogers Place downtown in 2016. The original Oil Kings played there for two seasons in the mid-70's, and the modern Oil Kings played there from their refounding up to the move downtown. Northlands Coliseum today is vacant and awaiting the wrecking ball, and I'm glad I got to see it in the fall of 2018 before its demise. It's a nondescript 70's Coliseum that's way smaller from the outside than you'd think would be possible for hosting an NHL team.
Estevan Civic Auditorium
Former Home of the Estevan Bruins
Medicine Hat Arena
Medicine Hat, Alberta
Former Home of the Medicine Hat Tigers
Former Home of the Weyburn Red Wings