When Edmonton was granted an expansion WHL team in 1996, the first time the city had had major junior hockey since 1978, the NHL Oilers were spooked and decided to crush their new competitor with all their might. The newly-minted Edmonton ICE were denied a lease at Northlands Coliseum thanks to the Oilers' lobbying, so the new team wound up playing at the only other suitable spectator arena in the city, the Northlands Agricom. The Agricom is located right across the street from the Coliseum, and it's actually a giant trade show and convention centre, of which the arena is only a small part.
The Agricom, now renamed the Edmonton Expo Centre, is actually located at least partially on the site of the former Edmonton Gardens, which was home of the original Oil Kings back in the 1960's and 1970's. When I visited in 2021, I found a sprawling glass building that contained on that day both a COVID testing centre and a home show. I obviously wasn't paying to get into a home show, not being in the market to buy a house in Edmonton, and particularly when I had no idea if the arena (or Hall D, as we must call it) was even being used that day.
The Agricom was apparently "an abomination of a building" according to Edmonton Sun columnist Terry Jones, and the Ice only survived two years before moving to Cranbrook, British Columbia. In addition to playing at a substandard arena, Northlands also refused to waive the parking fees for Ice games, which meant that with the price of parking included, the cost of attending a game was (at that time) the most expensive in the CHL. Hopefully someday I'll get to experience just how bad it is in person.
What's It Used for Today?
Judging by the arena calendar, it appears that the Agricom is still used for small-scale touring shows and other things that wouldn't come close to selling out Rogers Place downtown.
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at and I'll update the guide.