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SBJ/November 24 - 30, 2003/Facilities
Toronto’s redone Ricoh Coliseum shifts from horses to hockey
Published November 24, 2003
The arena, at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, has stood for 80 years.
What was once primarily a venue for the city's high-profile horse show and other agriculturally themed events at Exhibition Place is now a bona fide sports arena housing a professional hockey team, the AHL Toronto Roadrunners. Managed by SMG in a five-year joint venture with local real estate firm Olympia & York, the 9,000-seat facility also can be marketed year-round with concerts and family shows. In addition, live entertainment can be booked for the 18-day Canadian National Exhibition, one of the best-attended fairs in North America.
Ricoh Coliseum has been in existence for 80 years. "It needed a major overhaul," said Diane Young, CEO and general manager for the board of governors for Exhibition Place. "It would have taken $5 million [US$3.7 million] just to do some minor repairs. It was to the city's advantage to contribute funds toward a major renovation. The facility was going nowhere with regard to programming. Now it's going somewhere. Part of the deal with the tenant was that the city has the right to program the building for 115 days a year."
The renovation included building 38 luxury suites that are suspended from Ricoh's roof. The Roadrunners committed to a 49-year lease with Exhibition Place.
Tenants: AHL Toronto Roadrunners
Owner/operator: Exhibition Place/O&Y-SMG
Architect: Brisbin, Brook, Beynon
Construction manager: PCL Constructors
No. of seats: 9,000
No. of suites/club seats: 38/1,100
Projected cost: $28.5 million
Funding: $15 million bank loan, $6.7 million from the city, $6.7 million from a private pension fund
Naming rights: Ricoh Co., $7.5 million
Pouring rights: Coca-Cola
Scoreboard provider: Daktronics
Floor provider: Aimcon
Seat provider: Hussey Seating Co.
First game: Nov. 1 vs. Rochester