City Building Via the NHL

Today’s Social Cities post caused me to recall the story of when an NHL Franchise was going to help develop a city.

The Ottawa Senators and their rink (now the Canadian Tire Centre, back then the Palladium), were to be the centre of a new mixed use development. There were to be restaurants, bars, hotels and offices, and people living nearby – the team would be a catalyst.

Well, it didn’t go according to plan; governments backed out of promised highway infrastructure (a new interchange, which was privately funded in the end), and the team is now on its third owner. 20-some years later the area is finally developing into a mixed use community.

In 2002 I took a class taught by Bruce Firestone, founder of the Ottawa Senators, serial entrepreneur, and university prof. In that class, I learned:

“there is better money in mini self storage than in NHL Hockey”

Apparently that also applies to grumpy cats, as Grumpy Cat made more money last year than 26 NHL teams.

Endnote: Here is the full story of why the arena is where it is, right from the mouth of the guy who built it.

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BuiltHalifax delves into architectural history and theory with a local slant. Produced by Peter Ziobrowski, it is the sister project to