Posted by simon c on 2008 May 8日 Thursday
Great IIHF article on one of the older arenas in Canada that normally stays out of the limelight (this time too, as it is a practice facility). The Kitchener Memorial Auditorium was an awesome barn, with about 6000 capacity, when I saw a game there last year. They’re adding a couple of thousand seats to the arena though, so I wonder how the new Aud will feel. The games head into the 2nd round and relegation series after the games today. A doozy of good looking games on schedule today (Sweden-Switzerland, Finland-Slovakia, Belarus-France, Norway-Germany).
HALIFAX – The voice behind “cannonading drive” started here, and the Voyageurs thrived in this gem of a barn that now is the practice facility for the IIHF World Championship in Halifax.
The hallways are concrete and the seats made of wood. The smell of ice and Zamboni fumes hit you the moment you walk into the time machine known as the Forum. Built in 1927, it was the first arena with artificial ice east of Montreal. Today, it is a busy remnant of bygone days, a veritable active museum of sorts.
When it opened officially on December 21, 1927, the Forum was packed to the rafters. Some 5,500 fans can squeeze in for big games, and over the years there have been many. The roof is almost flat and made of wood. Large tarps hang just below the ceiling to catch dust and dirt.
Steel beams near the ice create obstructed views for some fans, but the most remarkable thing about watching a game here is the sound. From every seat in the house you can hear players talk on the bench, officials howl “icing!” and players holler “yep” as they look for a pass. You are not just watching a game here—you are part of the game.