Arena Name: Pacific Coliseum Capacity: 16,281 Built: 1968 Address: 100 North Renfrew St. Vancouver, BC, V5K 3N7 Ice Surface Size: Regulation Last Game: 2018
What Was the Arena Like?
The Pacific Coliseum was built in 1968 on the grounds of the Pacific National Exhibition Grounds in East Vancouver, replacing the aging PNE Forum as the main spectator rink for the city. The city had been passed over in the 1967 NHL expansion for lack of a suitable arena in which a new team could play, and Vancouver was determined to get in the next time around. Sure enough, two and a half years later, the Canucks were born, and the arena remained their home until the 1995 opening of GM Place downtown.
Despite this, however, the Coliseum still stands in East Vancouver, still open and still hosting events. The Coliseum was the primary residence of the Vancouver Nats in the 1970’s, but in recent times, the rink hosted the Vancouver Giants from their inception in 2001 until their 2016 move out to Langley. Even to this day, the Giants still rent the Coliseum from time to time for high attendance games like the annual teddy bear toss in December, most recently in 2018.
I still haven’t been to see a game at the Coliseum, which I regret, and which I wish I could change. I’ve been out to the PNE Grounds, though, and seen the building. From the outside it’s reminiscent of other similarly-aged Coliseums like Northlands and Madison Square Garden – a circular building of concrete sitting beside a mostly residential neighbourhood, with ample parking in the area on the Exhibition Grounds. Inside, it's apparently the same design as most arenas called "Coliseum", with a single concourse halfway up the seating bowl. For Giants games, the upper bowl was generally kept curtained-off. Truthfully, the Coliseum doesn’t look like much from the outside, but with most of the NHL arenas of that age now collecting dust or demolished, I’m hopeful that someday I’ll make it to a game at the Rink on Renfrew.
What's the Arena Used For Today?
Pacific Coliseum is still open and still hosts events, but with Rogers Arena downtown having dibs on most of the big ones, there's not a lot that plays there anymore.
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