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Air Canada Centre
The ACCThe Hangar
[1]
[2]
Location 40 Bay StreetTorontoOntario,Canada M5J 2X2
Coordinates 43°38′36″N 79°22′45″WCoordinates43°38′36″N 79°22′45″W
Broke ground March 12, 1997
Opened February 19, 1999
Owner Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
Operator Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
Construction cost C$265 million

($342 million in 2013 dollars[1])

Architect Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects (Architect of Record)

HOK Sport (Consulting Architects)[2]

Project manager Clarendon Projects Ltd.[3]
Structural engineer Yolles Partnership Inc.[4]
Services engineer The Mitchell Partnership, Inc.[5]
General contractor PCL Constructors Western, Inc.
Capacity Basketball: 19,800, at least 20,511 with standing room[6]

Hockey: 18,819, at least 19,746 with standing room Lacrosse: 18,819 Concerts: 19,800 Theatre: 5,200

Field dimensions 665,000 square feet (61,800 m2)
Tenants
Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) (1999–present)

Toronto Raptors (NBA) (1999–present) Toronto Rock (NLL) (2001–present) Toronto Phantoms (AFL) (2001–2002) Toronto Transit (RHF) (2005-present

The Air Canada Centre (ACC) (FrenchCentre Air Canada) is a multi-purpose indoor sporting arena located on Bay Street in Downtown TorontoOntario, Canada. It is the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Toronto Rock of theNational Lacrosse League (NLL). It was also home to the Toronto Phantoms of theArena Football League (AFL) during their brief existence. The arena is popularly known as the ACC or the Hangar (the latter nickname came from its sponsorship by Air Canada).

The arena is owned and operated by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., the same group that owns both the Leafs and Raptors, and is 665,000 square feet (62,000 m²) in size. In 2008, the ACC was the fifth busiest arena in the world and the busiest in Canada.[7] Air Canada Centre is connected to Union Station and the underground pedestrian PATH system, providing access to public transportation (TTC's Unionsubway station and GO Transit). There are also 13,000 parking spaces.

From its initial design to completion, it revolutionized many concepts[citation needed]included in new arenas and stadiums since then, such as luxury suites accessible on the ground floor, splitting the main scoreboard into several sections, rotating all sponsor signage in the bowl at once (to allow dominant messaging[clarification needed]), and multiple restaurants in and out of the main arena bowl view.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 History

History[edit]Edit

[3][4]Chronology sign.[5][6]A Raptors game with the previous logo and colours, as well as the old scoreboard, later relocated to Ricoh Coliseum

The Air Canada Centre was started by the Toronto Raptors under its initial ownership group headed by Canadian businessman John Bitove. The groundbreaking was performed in March 1997.

While construction was in progress, the Raptors and their partially completed arena were purchased by MLSE. Prior to this development, the Maple Leafs had been contemplating building their own arena to replace the agingMaple Leaf Gardens. MLSE subsequently ordered major modifications to the original design, which was basketball-specific, such that the arena become more suitable for hockey.

Air Canada purchased naming rights to the arena for $30 million over 20 years.[8]

The site was once occupied by Canada Post's Toronto Postal Delivery Building (designed by Charles B. Dolphin), which was briefly handed over to Department of National Defence for war storage purposes upon completion in 1941, but returned to Canada Post in 1946. The current building retains the striking Art Deco façades of the east (alongBay Street) and south (Lake Shore Boulevard) walls of that structure, but the rest of the building (facing Union Station) was removed to make room for the arena, through the process of facadism. The original building is protected under the Ontario Heritage Act.[citation needed]

The 15-storey tower on Bay Street stands at 55 metres (180 ft) and provides connections in the atrium to Union Station, Bay Street, and York Street (via Bremner Boulevard). The Air Canada Centre is connected to the PATH network.

Games and events[edit]Edit

Sports[edit]Edit

[7][8]Preparing for the National Anthem at the Toronto Maple Leafs home opener against the Montreal Canadiens.

The first Maple Leafs home game took place on February 20, 1999, versus the Montreal Canadiens, won by the Leafs 3–2 on an overtime goal by Steve Thomas. The first Raptors game took place the following night versus the Vancouver Grizzlies (later moved toMemphis). The Raptors won 102–87 in front of a sell-out crowd. The facility hosted the 2000 NHL All-Star Game and the championship game of the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

The Toronto Rock also moved to the ACC from Maple Leaf Gardens for the 2001 NLL season. The Rock's first game was a 17–7 win over the Ottawa Rebel on December 21, 2000.

On October 3, 2003, the ACC had a power outage during the third quarter of a Raptors pre-season game against the Greek club Panathinaikos. The game was called final, because the power was not restored in time, and Toronto already had a thirty-point lead.

The arena hosted UFC 140 on December 10, 2011, UFC 152 on September 22, 2012 andUFC 165 on September 21, 2013.

Concerts[edit]Edit

The Air Canada Centre has played host to a large number of musicians. The Tragically Hipplayed the first ever concert at the arena on February 22, 1999 to a sold out crowd.[9] On their 2007–2008 Lost Highway TourBon Jovi played five shows in Toronto and holds the record for having played the most shows in the ACC during one tour. They broke their own earlier four-night record at the ACC that tied with U2, The Spice GirlsThe Police andRush.[10]

Political conventions[edit]Edit

In 2003, the Liberal Party of Canada held their leadership convention at the Air Canada Centre.

Late 2000s developments[edit]Edit

[9][10]Gate 5 entrance off of Maple Leafs Square

In late 2005, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced that they would be renovating the western side of the Air Canada Centre during the 2008 off-season to connect it with theMaple Leaf Square development. Maple Leaf Square is jointly owned by MLSE, Cadillac Fairview and Lantera Developments. The $500 million development includes two restaurants, Hotel Le Germain at Maple Leaf Square boutique hotel, extensive retail shopping, including a 9,000-square-foot (840 m2) Leafs, Marlies, Raptors, and Toronto FC store, two 54-storey condominiums, a Longo's supermarket, a High-Definition broadcast studio, and a public square. It opened in 2010.

References[edit]Edit

  1. Jump up^ Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. Last modified 2011-01-25. Retrieved January 16, 2012
  2. Jump up^ Faber, Michael (January 14, 2002). "Clubhouse Confidential: When a Bunch of Alpha Males Get Together Daily in a Confined Space, Lots of Things—Good and Bad—Can Happen"Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
  3. Jump up^ Clarendon Projects - Air Canada Centre
  4. Jump up^ Halcrow Yolles - Air Canada Centre
  5. Jump up^ The Mitchell Partnership - Air Canada Centre
  6. Jump up^ Toronto Raptors Media Guide Page 224
  7. Jump up^ MTS Centre 19th-busiest showbiz venue in world. Winnipeg Free Press (January 24, 2009). Retrieved on July 26, 2013.
  8. Jump up^ "Branding for dollars"CBC News. February 15, 2007.
  9. Jump up^ "History". The Air Canada Centre. Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
  10. Jump up^ "Citytv". Citynews.ca. Retrieved May 5, 2011.

External links[edit]Edit

[11] Basketball portal
[12] Ice hockey portal
[13] Toronto portal
[14] Wrestling portal