Arena Name: Saskatoon Arena Capacity: 4500 Built: 1937 Address: 115 19th St. E. Saskatoon, SK S7K 7Y8 Ice Surface Size: Last Game: 1988 Demolished: 1988
What Was the Arena Like?
Saskatoon Arena opened in downtown Saskatoon in 1937. Located on the banks of the Saskatchewan River just east of the Sid Buckwold Bridge, it was an Art Deco building that reminds me in pictures of the Garden City Arena in St. Catharines, which opened the year after – it has the same barrel roof, support columns, and wooden seats. The arena was home over the years to both junior and senior hockey, but it became solely home of the Blades following their arrival in the WHL, and played host to them up to its demolition.
As hard as it may be to believe now, in the early 1980's Bill Hunter was leading a group trying to buy the St. Louis Blues and move them to Saskatoon, which among the other reasons why that's completely insane, at the time the Arena was the largest and only spectator facility in the city. After much debate over location, the new SaskPlace arena was built to the far north of the city in 1988 on land that at the time was farm fields, and even though the Blues were pretty well determined to be not coming by that point, the new arena was constructed to NHL capacity anyway. The Blades became the new prime tenant at the new arena, and Saskatoon Arena was promptly demolished.
The historic photos on this page are courtesy of the Saskatoon Public Library and are in the public domain in Canada.
Inside Saskatoon Arena
What's It Used for Today?
The site of Saskatoon Arena at the corner of 2nd and 19th in downtown Saskatoon is currently occupied by Clinkskill Manor, a seniors’ residential complex, and an office building called RiverCentre I. In a wonderful bit of irony, the street in northern Saskatoon leading to SaskPlace, which used to be called Saunders Ave, was renamed Bill Hunter Ave in 1982 for the man who once tried to move the St. Louis Blues to Saskatoon. A road constructed through the former Saskatoon Arena site was then named Saunders Place… even though Bill Hunter was strongly against building SaskPlace where it was and wanted it downtown, not far from Saskatoon Arena!