Every time the guide is updated, details will appear on this page.
September 12, 2009: I'm a little late on this news, but Cobo Arena is going to be demolished starting October 1, 2009. The city of Detroit is expanding the adjacent Cobo Hall convention center and the old rink is going to meet the wrecking ball after a pair of concerts from KISS close the old place. I still have never been inside, but I'm going to give it one more try today, as I'm heading down to the Tigers game in Motown. Wish me luck. If anyone has inside pics of Cobo Arena, please pass them on.
September 7, 2009: Yes, I am still alive, and still planning to update the site over the hockey season. After working on the website pretty much non-stop since I started writing it in the fall of 2002, I was starting to get burnt out and lose interest, so although I didn't plan it this way, I wound up taking the entire summer off. It was a necessary layoff, but the batteries are recharged and I'll be going strong again when hockey season opens. Plans for this year: I'm definitely, finally going to get to Kingston, and I've got two more ballgames planned before the end of the year.
June 21, 2009: Happy first day of summer! I've been taking my customary long break to re-charge the old batteries since the Memorial Cup, but the number of updates that I've wanted to do has reached critical mass and so I've updated the site today. On this one, you'll find a new exterior picture of the Stratford Arena to replace the old one from a dreary day in March of 2004.
May 18, 2009: Many of you have probably noticed by now that Google and some browsers are preventing access to this website because of the potential to harm your computer. The site had a minor malware infection but I believe I've cleared it all up, although it will likely take Google a few days to re-index it and pronounce it safe.
May 5, 2009: Updated today are the former arena pages for the Kingston Memorial Centre, Sault Memorial Gardens and the Newmarket Recreational Complex.
May 3, 2009: Just a note that I'm home from Washington and probably finished with the OHL travels for the year. Some of you may have noticed that I haven't yet added the WFCU Centre to the Top 20, but as the Top 20 has become relatively outdated by now (a video scoreboard isn't a novelty anymore), I am planning to re-do it over the summer and will fully evaluate the new rink then.
April 16, 2009: After a layoff of a year and a half, I finally have visited another new OHL arena with my trip to the WFCU Centre last night. The arena profile is now online, as is the ticket stub.
April 14, 2009: After much deliberation, I have decided to make the trip to Game 1 of the Knights-Spitfires OHL Western Conference final, and thus, the WFCU Centre. This will bring my current OHL rink total back to 19 for the summer, and my total CHL building numbers to a grand total of 38. Check back in the next few days for a full writeup and pictures.
April 12, 2009: The page for the Niagara Falls Memorial Arena has been updated with a new picture and writeup reflecting that arena's impending demolition.
March 15, 2009: An new interior shot of the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon.
March 14, 2009: Structural changes are afoot on the site. When launching the Q site a year and a half ago I decided to put the old arenas on the main index page, because at that time I hadn't been to enough of them to make it worth segregating them on their own page. Well, I've decided that I like that layout so much I've introduced it here, too. All the former OHL arenas are now more prominently placed on the front page. I'm still playing with the layout a little - after all, it has been five and a half years - but this is a good start in making the site more functional and compact, in my opinion.
March 12, 2009: It's been a while since I did a comprehensive edit and read-through of the site, so I've started that project one more time to ensure all of the information is current. Minor tweaks have already happened all over the place with more to come, plus three pages have been more extensively updated: Brantford Civic Centre, Barrie Arena, and the Palace of Auburn Hills. More updates are planned over the next little while. It's also been somewhat interesting to me to note that I apparently started this website at the right time, as both Barrie and Guelph's old rinks have been demolished since my visits there, while the Niagara Falls Memorial Arena will be levelled this summer. I'm glad I got to see and chronicle some of our arena heritage before it disappeared.
March 8, 2009: A new entrant has been added to the Hall of Fame. NOOF-a-palooza XIII was this weekend, and so I finally got to another OHL game this regular season, but as mentioned below, it's not been a good year overall. Here's hoping the playoffs will be better and updates more frequent.
February 1, 2009: It has not been a good year for me, OHL travel-wise. My fall trip to Erie was cancelled and now it's looking like my winter trip to Kingston is also going to fall by the wayside. I'm still getting to the WFCU Centre in the playoffs this year though, and between a game in Tampa last week and an NCAA game in Ann Arbor next week, the year's not going to be a total loss. Actually, Florida was terrific; I'm not complaining. Picture of the Week has a shot up now from the Lightning-Sabres game I attended, and I'd recommend winter hockey in Florida to anyone.
January 10, 2009: It appears to be "new arena month" in the CHL, as, incredibly, the WFCU Centre is now the third newest in the league. Last week the Seattle Thunderbirds opened their new home in Kent at the ShoWare Center, and Paul Buxton was kind enough to send in pictures from the first game. Gary Parsons has also submitted an interior photo of Rexall Place, which is excellent as it brings the number of interior shots I'm still missing down to two - Brandon and Prince Albert. I've also updated the front page montage to reflect the new year, and changed the Spitfire photo to the new circle at the WFCU Centre. My travel plans are also updated, with the highlight of the coming few months being my first ever NCAA game: Ferris State at Michigan. I'm also getting to the two new OHL arenas - professional pride being what it is, it would be hard for me to leave it much longer!
December 21, 2008: A very Merry Christmas to one and all! Things have changed a lot around Stately OHLAG Manor in the past week - I have started an excellent new job. As such, I might well have the money to do some travelling in the second half of the season. I'm looking forward to seeing the new rinks in Kingston and Windsor before the end of the season. And speaking of which, the bare-bones WFCU Centre page has been fully upgraded thanks to correspondent Paul Burnette and my good friend Brian Thompson. Check out their contributions, which will suffice until mid-March when I finally make the trip. As an aside, I was in Oshawa last weekend for the Petes-Generals game, and a new picture and slightly re-written writeup are now online. Also, the arena in Swift Current has been renovated, and Calvin Dyck was kind enough to send along a picture of the Credit Union iPlex, the terrible new corporate name of the old Centennial Civic Centre. This will be it for updates until the new year, which means no new picture next Sunday - enjoy the holidays and I'll see you in the new year.
December 12, 2008: The new WFCU Centre opened last night with the Spits losing to Belleville. I plan to get to a game there in March to see the new building, but I've got a bare-bones page up for now. The Windsor Arena page has moved and been converted to a former arena page.
December 3, 2008: Two big updates today. First of all, Vince Kreiser has sent in photos of a large number of former WHL arenas in British Columbia, as well as a much better picture of the Interior Savings Centre in Kamloops. Thanks for the contributions! Secondly, I've added a Google map of the OHL to the front page of the website; hopefully some people will find it useful.
November 25, 2008: Good news out of Belleville, as the city has approved a $20 million renovation to the Yardmen Arena. See the Bulls page for details.
November 16, 2008: After the massive updates last month following my Quebec trip, I've taken something of a month off to focus on other projects, but now I'm back and have crammed in a month's worth of updates. First of all, my personal Plymouth jinx is finally broken, as the Knights finally won their first game there with me in attendance in six tries. The only remaining rink in the league in which I haven't seen my team win is now Peterborough, where I'm 0-for-3. The Plymouth writeup has been rewritten, I hope you like the changes.
Submissions from the past month are now also online. First of all, Paul Morris has sent in pictures of the demolition of Barrie Arena, which can be seen on that page. It's a shame to lose another historic arena, and I'm glad I got to see it before it disappeared. A fire station is apparently planned for the site in central Barrie. I've also had Chris Warden send in an interior photo of Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, which will have to do until I eventually get there for a Sens game.
No promises, but I'm hoping to unveil a few other updates within the next little while, including a Google map of junior hockey buildings and RSS if I can figure out just how to use it. We'll see how things go.
October 23, 2008: The page for the Cornwall Civic Complex has been updated.
October 21, 2008: Ticket stubs have been posted from my recent visits to three QMJHL arenas, and in addition, I've posted a new picture and written a short bit about the K-Rock Centre.
October 20, 2008: Well, I have returned from my trip to Quebec, and I believe I visited pretty much every hockey arena ever built there. I saw five games in four days, including a Junior A game at the Cornwall Civic Complex and the Habs-Coyotes tilt on Saturday night. Since the OHL site gets far more traffic than the Q site, I'm posting the first official "welcome home, me" here, and letting those interested know that over the next week I will be posting new pictures of Cornwall, the K-Rock Centre, and doing massive, massive updates to the Q site. I'm planning to unveil it all over the course of this week, and so keep checking both here and the QMJHL site's what's new page for details of the updates as they happen. In other news, the host of the 2010 Memorial Cup has been announced, and it's somewhat of a surprise one - Brandon, Manitoba. The WHL's trend in recent years has been westerly, so it's nice to see a cornerstone franchise on the prairies get rewarded. And one more note - thank you to my most excellent friend and travel companion Chris. A friend willing to drive to places like Val-d'Or and Shawinigan with you is a real friend indeed.
October 6, 2008: Ticket prices are now updated reflecting the new season. The average OHL adult ticket price (cheapest seat, excluding standing room) this year is $15.24, up from $14.67 last year, and from a mere $12.75 in 2003-04, the first year I started tracking ticket prices. The most expensive adult ticket this year in the OHL is a three-way (dis)honour shared by usual expensive twins Kitchener and Windsor alongside a relatively surprising third - Kingston. A ticket in those three places will run you $18. This year's bargain basement clubs are the three in the US (thanks to the strong Canadian dollar) along with Brampton and Mississauga, where tickets all can be had for under $13. The cheapest OHL ticket this year outside Toronto and the USA is in Ottawa, where a ticket will set you back $15.
Also, in a move that guarantees them years of good karma, the IceDogs will be commemorating the impending demolition of the Niagara Falls Memorial Arena next summer by playing a regular season game there in March. Tickets aren't on sale yet, but if I can get a pair, I definitely should be in attendance. And finally, I recently met with Andy Ritter of Roaming the Rinks on his three-day trip through Ontario. His thoughts and pictures from Windsor Arena are already up, and his views on the OHL are definitely worth reading.
September 14, 2008: Season six of the OHL Arena & Travel Guide kicks off today, and for the first time, there's really not a lot that's overwhelmingly new for the new season. However, I couldn't let it go by without anything new, now could I... It occurred to me the other day that given my obsession for cataloguing every building that was used for a regular season game, no matter how obscure, I was missing two big and obvious ones from the site that really should have been there. Hence, we now have pages online for the Air Canada Centre and Scotiabank Place. I've never been inside the rink in Ottawa, so if someone has a picture they'd like to send, you know what to do.
In terms of other site news, I'm in the process of giving both sites a huge once-over to check links, update information, etc., but if you happen to find a broken link or outdated information, please let me know and I'll fix it. Ticket prices also haven't yet been updated but should be shortly. Finally, my road trip schedule is current and up to date on the About Me page - I'm aiming for fewer, farther trips this year rather than a couple visits to Guelph and Sarnia. Erie is on tap for October 4, and I'll be blasting through nearly every rink in the Montreal area in the middle of the month. I'm also going to hit the Buffalo-Tampa Bay game in Florida in January. As always, enjoy the season, and keep those submissions coming.