by Lisa Brown on 04/26/12 at 01:30 AM ET
The first concept images of the new downtown Edmonton arena have been released this week, and they look good. Structurally there doesn’t appear to be much difference between these images and the ones released last year, except for the fact that these images do not resemble a bike seat so much as a scotch tape dispenser or even a mullet. That’s right, I bring you the Smytty Dome.
The new arena will be the integral part of the new arena complex and will hopefully be the first of many projects that will revitalize Edmonton’s downtown core, much like what happened in Columbus Ohio. But the financing has yet to be finalized. Still, the plan is to begin construction in the spring of 2013 with a completion date of the beginning of the 2015-16 NHL season.
While this images are just the start of the process and a full package will be provided to city council on May 16th. Once council has more information the process will really begin including the public consultation process.
What most people may not appreciate from the initial artist renderings are the windows. I have now travelled to 16 of the 30 NHL arenas and the Xcel Energy Centre in St. Paul is by far my favourite. For me, the large number of windows and amount of natural light give the building warmer and more enjoyable feeling.
The windows also give the option to have plant life in the arena, much like the spruce trees in the Xcel Centre. While it may not seem like much, it’s a drastic change from the tight concourse and claustrophobic feel often associated with walking around the current RX1, Rexall Place, and Scotiabank Saddledome.
Without seeing more plans it’s difficult to form much of an opinion but with what has been shared so far, this is an excellent direction.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
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