SBJ/November 24 - 30, 2003/Facilities

Johnstown upgrades nearly everything but keeps a classic

Changes made the Johnstown Chiefs’ home a little smaller and a lot shinier.

Fans of the 1977 cult classic "Slapshot" may not recognize the renovated confines of 51-year-old War Memorial Arena, where the movie's hockey scenes were filmed. The building is the real-life home of the ECHL Johnstown (Pa.) Chiefs, the league's only original member still in existence, said Jim Edwards, former team president and project coordinator for the facility upgrades.

Virtually everything but the scoreboard is new, including seats, dasherboards and protective Plexiglas, concession stands, ice refrigeration system, rest rooms, concourse fixtures, floor tile, entryways and the roof. A new sound system and ceiling treatment have improved acoustics. One seating section can be converted into a stage for live entertainment or to a patio for fans to eat and drink on while standing to watch a game.

Premium seating is new, with four luxury suites rented on a per-game basis. One unit accommodates 40 people at $1,000 a game, which includes $25 game tickets. The other three are smaller, with room for 15 patrons at $375 a game, tickets included. Food and beverage service is an additional cost.

In this age of soliciting naming rights to pay for construction, the local community maintained the title of the arena, originally built as a memorial to World War II veterans. In fact, the memorial theme has increased with a $350,000 display outside the venue, composed of granite pillars and five flagpoles. The dedication, originally scheduled for Veterans Day, was delayed until next spring because there wasn't enough granite available, according to Edwards.

Seating decreased from 4,044 to 3,968 with the addition of areas to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and after the installation of new air-conditioning and plumbing equipment.

Cambria County War Memorial Arena

City: Johnstown, Pa.

Tenant: ECHL Johnstown Chiefs

Owner and operator: Cambria County

Architect: Hayes Large

Construction manager: Foreman Construction

No. of seats: 3,968 (reduced from 4,044)

No. of suites/club seats: 4 party boxes

Projected cost: $36 million, including conference center across the street and 600-car parking garage

Funding: $17.2 million from the state of Pennsylvania; match of that amount from city and county levels; balance from federal agencies

Concessionaire: In-house

Pouring rights: Coca-Cola

Scoreboard provider: No new scoreboard

Floor provider: Horner

Ice provider: In-house

Seat provider: Irwin Seating Co.

First game: Oct. 18 vs. Long Beach

Company Work performed
Berkebile Bros. General trades
Berkebile Bros. Acoustical/drywall/plaster
Bettwy Electric Inc. Arena light/sound
Burley’s Rink Supply Inc. Dasherboards
Commercial Appliance Contracts Inc. Kitchen
DeGol Carpet Resilient flooring/carpet
Eastern Elevator Sales & Service Elevators
Eber HVAC Landscaping
Eber HVAC Heating, ventilation, air conditioning
Irwin Seating Co. Arena seating
KirCon-Breco Inc. Plumbing
L.G. Manesiotis & Co. Painting
Modern Art & Plate Glass Co. Aluminum entrances/windows
Quaker Sales Paving
S.A. Comunale Co. Fire protection
Stelco Inc. Electrical
Strongland Roofing Roofing
Source: Berkebile Bros.


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ECHL, Hockey

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