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Oilers look to Pittsburgh and Columbus for arena inspiration

May 21, 2013, 2:44 PM EDT

Oilers arena

Oilers president and CEO Patrick LaForge believes Edmonton’s new downtown arena, expected to be ready in time for the 2016-17 NHL season, will “easily be the best in the world.”

Via Sportsnet, LaForge says the new rink will incorporate the best that other buildings around the league have to offer.

Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center and Columbus’ Nationwide Arena are two buildings the Oilers are using to inspire their own unique design.

“We’ve been in and out of their facilities so many times,” said LaForge, “and have taken so much of their architects’ and their hockey peoples’ recommendations on what should and shouldn’t be. Size, dimension, use…

“And the other part is, we’ve been taking a lot of notes on all the things we shouldn’t do. I think we’ve got the Bible kind of put together now.”

The journey to build a new, modern rink for the Oilers has been a long one. Last week, Edmonton city council finally approved a funding model for the $480 million facility.

With the Islanders set to move into the Barclays Center in 2015, the Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames have moved to the top of the list of NHL teams that desire new buildings.

  1. modellforprez - May 21, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    damn at a whopping 480 Million you can build an arena like no other. the consol in pittsburgh and nationwide in columbus are nice but this edmonton one has the chance to be the nicest

    • killerpgh - May 21, 2013 at 6:23 PM

      Pretty sure Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh “only” cost 320 million. Im sure the cost of materials/skilled labor has risen a little bits since 2008. I will be curious what an extra 160 million will get Edmonton. and like any big project I’m sure it will go over budget when its all said a done. CEC went 30 million over the 1st budget.

  2. steelpenbucs87 - May 21, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    A lot to like about CSC in Pittsburgh. One thing NOT to copy is the upper concourse design. It’s not wide enough, and the openings for the concessions aren’t big enough so you can’t see what they serve unless your up close (so you can see the menu).

    Other than that though you could do worse than a CSC-inspired arena.

    • drone501 - May 21, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      plus no leg room at all. none whatsoever.

  3. contraryguy - May 21, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    $480 million, nice… if I had that money I’d try to get bigger seats or slightly more spacing; Nationwide is probably similar to other arenas in that they squeeze in as many people as possible into a given space. Everything else about the place is good. Little things, like a great anthem singer (Leo!) and at least one team gimmick (cannon) add to the overall feel of the place. If they put fans first, it’ll be a good arena.

  4. vshehane - May 21, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    While the Nationwide arena has a couple of nice features around the ice, I don’t think I would use it to pattern anything. The concourses are low and dark. Nothing special. The upgrades to the jumbotron and screens inside are nice.

  5. dbara43 - May 21, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    The nicest thing about the Nationwide is you have plenty of room for your coat, beer and pretzels. You could even bring your dog and not bother anybody.

  6. ray2013 - May 21, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    The City and taxpayers are giving a billionaire free money to built a new rink. It better be the best in the NHL.

    • raoool - May 21, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      probably picked up some pointers from Mario on how to squeeze a lttile more $ out of the local gov’t

  7. ray2013 - May 21, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    *build. spelling is not my forte.

  8. brysono - May 21, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Absolutely no information in this article. I seriously hope no one is getting paid for this.

  9. comeonnowguys - May 22, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    I just want the ice to not look blue in the lighting. Makes me think my TV is broken.

  10. hazlydose - May 22, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Hopefully for the fans sake they design the seating like Consol’s. With the seats being so steep, there is less leg room, but there isn’t a bad seat in the building.

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