Venue Preview: Canada Hockey Place

January 8, 2010

Name: Canada Hockey Place
Sports: Hockey
Days: Day 12
Location: 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
Capacity: 18,810
Opened: 1995
Costs: $160 million CAD New (1995)

In its everyday life its known as GM Place, home to the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL. But for 17 Days in February, GM Place will be rebranded Canada Hockey Place...and become the main Hockey venue for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.

Originally built 1995, Canada Hockey Place will only require minor upgrades to become 'Games-Ready'. Canada Hockey Place was going to require capital improvements in the range of $10-$15 million dollars in order to upgrade to the wider international ice surface. However, by 2007 this requirement had been dropped by the IIHF, allowing Canada Hockey Place to retain its NHL sized surface, and reap the associated cost-savings.

One interesting fact arising from the hosting of the Olympics at Canada Hockey Place is the obvious eviction of the primary tenant: the Vancouver Canucks.  In order to prep the building, host the tournament, and then return it to its pre-existing condition, VANOC will have control of the building for almost 6 weeks. That means that the Canucks will play their last pre-Olympic home game on January 27th....and won't play at home again until...March 13th....ouch!

Of course, being the hockey nuts that we are, Canada Hockey Place will be the venue that we visit most frequently. For myself, I'll pass through the gates 8 times during the games:

  • Women's - Canada v. Slovakia
  • Men's - USA v. Switzerland
  • Men's - Canada v. Norway
  • Men's - USA v. Norway
  • Men's - Canada v. Switzerland
  • Men's - Russia v. Czech Republic
  • Men's - Canada v. USA
  • Women's - Gold Medal Game
This will of course allow me the chance to become pretty familiar with the place by the time its all said and done. However, there are two seating assignments that I'm looking to most. First, the Russia - Czech game, we have upgraded our location a few times, to the point where I'm now going to be directly on the red line, 7 rows behind the team benchs. Pretty much the best seats in the house.

The second assignment I really like is for the Women's Gold Medal Game...when Pam and I are in the 4th row of the upper deck, right behind one of the nets. This might sound like a crappy location, but I'm pretty sure we're at the end where they will raise the flags after the winner is declared. We should have an excellent seat for that, providing a really good photo-op if (ahem...when) Canada wins!

Anyways, as I said, I'm going to have every angle of this building covered during the games. Have a look at all our seat assignments to get an idea what I mean. Most games we're all together, but for a few we're broken up...if you're wondering why there are more than 8 arrows:


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About This Blog

This blog is the online chronicle of our adventures leading up to, and including, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. We hope to give you a little insight into what went into planning our trip and a first hand look at the Games from the ground in Vancouver.

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