Scotiabank Place (French: Place Banque Scotia) is a multi-purpose arena, located in Kanata, a suburban district of Ottawa, Ontario. It is home to the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League. It has also hosted the Canadian University Men's Basketball Championship (CIS). Opened as The Palladium in January 1996, it was known as the Corel Centre from February 1996 until February 2006. The arena hosts ice hockey, basketball, music concerts, skating, and other entertainment events. It is home to the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, several restaurants, a fitness complex and several businesses. The arena has seating for 19,153 and a capacity of 20,500 including standing room.

History

As part of its bid to land a NHL franchise for Ottawa, Terrace Corporation unveiled the original proposal for the arena development at a press conference in September 1989. The proposal included a hotel and 20,500 seat arena, named The Palladium on 100 acres (0.40 km2), surrounded by a 500-acre (2.0 km2) mini-city, named "West Terrace." The site itself, 600 acres (2.4 km2) of farmland, on the western border of Kanata, had been acquired in May 1989 by Terrace. The large site had previously been a possible location for a new home for the Central Canada Exhibition, but the Exhibition's option on the property had expired.

The site was farmland and required a rezoning to proceed with construction. The then-City of Kanata supported the rezoning, but the provincial government and some local residents opposed the rezoning, forcing public hearings into the proposal by the Ontario Municipal Board. Rezoning approval was granted by the Board on August 28, 1991, with conditions. The conditions imposed by the board included a scaling down of the arena to 18,500 seats, a moratorium on development outside the initial 100-acre (0.40 km2) arena site, and that the cost of the highway interchange with highway 417 be paid by Terrace. A ground-breaking ceremony was held in June 1992 but actual construction did not start until July 7, 1994.

The two year period was used seeking financing for the site and interchange by Terrace Corporation. The corporation received a $6 million grant from the federal government, but needed to borrow to pay for the rest of the costs of construction. On August 17, 1993, Bruce Firestone, the Senators owner, was replaced by Rod Bryden, a former high tech tycoon, who assumed control of Terrace Corporation. Bryden managed to borrow enough to pay for the $188 million project through a consortium of U.S. banks and Ogden Entertainment, but could not find financing for the highway interchange. Only after the provincial government provided a loan guarantee for the highway interchange financing did construction proceed.

Actual construction took 18 months, finishing in January 1996. The Palladium opened on January 15, 1996 with a concert by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams. The first NHL game took place two days later, with the Montreal Canadiens defeating the Senators 3-0. On February 17, 1996 the name 'Palladium' was changed to the 'Corel Centre' when Corel Corporation, an Ottawa software company, signed a 10-year deal for the naming rights.

When mortgage holder Covanta Energy (the former Ogden Entertainment) went into receivership in 2001, Terrace was expected to pay off the whole debt. The ownership was not able to refinance the arena, eventually leading to Terrace itself declaring bankruptcy in 2003. However, on August 26, 2003, billionaire businessman Eugene Melnyk finalized the purchase of the Senators and the arena. The arena and club became solely owned by Melnyk through a new company, Capital Sports Properties.

In 2004, the ownership applied to expand its seating. The City of Ottawa amended its by-laws in December 2004 and in 2005, the venue was allowed to increase its seating capacity to 19,153 and total attendance to 20,500 when including standing room.

Also in 2005, the arena became home to the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, with a display on the second-floor concourse. Information of over 200 inductees is detailed on individual plaques. The exhibit display had previously been located at the Ottawa Civic Centre since 1967. The space is donated by Scotiabank Place. In 2011, it was announced that the Hall of Fame exhibit will be moving to permanent space at the Heritage Building of Ottawa City Hall.

On January 19, 2006, the arena became known as 'Scotiabank Place' after reaching a new 15 year naming agreement with Canadian bank Scotiabank on January 11, 2006. Scotiabank had been an advertising partner with the club for several years and took over the naming after Corel declined to renew its naming agreement with the Senators, but continued as an advertising sponsor.

On September 15, 2010, the NHL announced that Scotiabank Place would host the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.

Location

Although widely acknowledged as a well-designed arena, it has been criticized in the years since construction for being difficult to reach. It is located in the far west-end of Ottawa, in the former city of Kanata, which puts it at a fair distance from some parts of the National Capital Region, especially from the east-end of Ottawa or from the Outaouais region. The arena is isolated from many restaurants and bars, which makes it difficult for celebrations to continue naturally after the game as in many other more centrally located arenas. Difficulties have been compounded by frequent traffic congestion at game time along the Queensway (417) highway, Palladium Drive and Terry Fox Drive. On July 21, 2011, it was announced that in a joint project involving the City of Ottawa, the Province of Ontario and the Ottawa Senators a new on-ramp to highway 417 eastbound would be built directly from the Scotiabank Place parking lot, with the aim to provide easier post-event exiting for public transit and high occupancy vehicles.

Notable events
  • April 6, 2003 - The Juno Awards were held at Scotiabank Place, hosted by Shania Twain. The Awards ceremony was the final event in the "Juno Weekend" series of events in Ottawa.
  • December 30, 2004 - The arena hosted the largest attended crowd ever to witness a Canadian Hockey League game. Attendance was 20,081 for a game between the Ottawa 67's and Kingston Frontenacs.
  • June 2, 2007 - The venue hosted its first Stanley Cup Finals match when the Senators hosted the Anaheim Ducks and won 5-3. This game recorded an attendance of 20,500.
  • December 26, 2008 – January 5, 2009 - The arena hosted many of the games (including the gold medal game) of the 2009 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
  • April 1, 2012 - The Juno Awards of 2012 are set to be hosted at the Scotiabank Place. This will be the first time in what will be nearly nine years that The Juno Awards are presented in Ottawa, let alone at Scotiabank Place.
Facilities

Scotiabank Place has facilities for ice hockey and basketball, games which are held regularly. Scotiabank Place has also hosted indoor lacrosse. Scotiabank has different configurations for concerts, with full and half arena seating arrangements. The building has six restaurants and a fitness club. Most of the restaurants are only open on game days. The Ottawa Senators operate a merchandise store next to the east entrance.

Scotiabank's seating is in three levels, 100, 200 and 300, which are fixed sections surrounding the arena floor. The levels start with the 100 or 'club' level closest to the ice surface rising further up and away to the 300 level.There are suites in the 100 level and at the mezzanine level which is above the 300 level. There is a restaurant opening onto the 300 level at one end of the arena, and there is a low-price area in the 300 level at the other end, which doesn't allow alcohol. The 100 level has its own concourse while levels 200 and 300 share a concourse. The Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame exhibit is on the 200/300 level concourse. The mezzanine level is only reachable by elevator.

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