TPT


Peterborough Petes

Arena Name: Peterborough Memorial Centre
Capacity: 4,069 (3,729 seated)
Built: 1956
Address: 121 Lansdowne St. W, Peterborough, ON, K9J 1Y4
Telephone No: (705) 743-3681
Ice Surface Size: 195 X 85
Franchise Date: 1956-57
OHL Championships: 9, Most Recently in 2005-06
Memorial Cup Championships: 1, in 1978-79
Colours: Maroon & White
Official Web Site: http://www.gopetesgo.com/
Unofficial Sites: PetesVideos.com, Petes Message Board
Google Satellite: Click Here

OHL
Peterborough Memorial Centre
Peterborough Memorial Centre
What's the Arena Like?
You have to really want to be in Peterborough to find yourself there. The city is one of the few in southern Ontario that’s not really on the way to anywhere else, and most people would never go there unless they had a reason to be there. But in spite of that, most people across Canada have heard of Peterborough, and usually this is because of the Peterborough Petes Hockey Club. The Petes define Peterborough in a way that few other CHL teams ever have, having produced more NHLers than any other junior team and being the most successful OHL team since the war.

The Peterborough Memorial Centre is a strange-looking building located just south of Peterborough's compact, lively downtown. It's built in a residential neighbourhood with a large football field just across "Roger Neilson Way", a street named for the legendary former Petes coach. The building also has a sizable parking lot on site, with more parking in the neighbouring fairgrounds. The design of the building is definitely odd; it's built with a large overhang that almost reaches Landsdowne Street that is constructed over a new atrium that was built when the Memorial Centre was renovated a few seasons ago. A large marquee reads "Peterborough Memorial Centre" and the rest of the building is mainly done either in brown brick or aluminum siding.

Once inside the Centre you find yourself in front of the ticket windows in a largish lobby. The Petes have a well-stocked team store to the right of the main entrance. The lobby has a high ceiling and there are concessions located behind the ticket windows once you enter the arena proper. The city of Peterborough also maintains the Peterborough Sports Hall of Fame in the arena, and while a "Hall of Fame" in most OHL cities entails a few portraits on the wall or something similar, in Peterborough they have a full-sized museum. There are artifacts dating back throughout Peterborough sports history in all sports. The Petes' long and proud history is prominently featured, of course, but there are also relics of everything from lacrosse to lawn darts. It's the OHL's finest museum and is well-worth arriving early to see properly.

From the main lobby you have to walk up a few stairs to reach the arena - the ice isn't built at ground level, but a few feet above it. When you first see the bowl of the Memorial Centre the sight takes your breath away. Banners hang prominently from the ceiling and a gigantic portrait of HM the Queen smiles down from the far end of the ice. The ice is actually raised on a “stage” from ground level, which means that anyone in standing room winds up looking up at the players, just contributing to the sense of the sportsmen being performers. The arena is not laid out along sides like nearly every other hockey arena, but instead is laid out end-to-end. There are only about ten rows of seats on either side of the ice, with private suites behind the seating. One side of the ice is "club seats" and there is also a sizable press box. In one end there is a huge "gallery" section which extends back a full twenty-six rows, all the way to row "Z".

The fourth side of the building has no seating at all but instead has a stack of private suites and a sports bar. The scoreclock in Peterborough is new and eight-sided, with full video screens on four sides and standard timers on four sides. It is used professionally to great effect. The seats are all new as well and coloured - what else? - maroon. Washrooms are fine. The sound system is all new and sounds terrific.

Peterborough's Memorial Centre is notorious for its square corners; they're unlike any you've ever seen before. In fact, the Zamboni can't get directly into the corners to clean the ice, and as a result the corners tend to get rutted easily. The Petes practise bouncing pucks off the corners to learn their odd bounces, and at least one game has been won by knowing how to work the corners.

I was prepared to love the Memorial Centre unconditionally, but the flaws in Peterborough begin to show themselves as the game gets underway. First, the concourse section extends only from the main lobby to about halfway down the sides, and so if your seat is in the far end of the building you are expected to get there via a narrow hallway right down by the glass. Traffic bottlenecks easily. In addition, the Petes turn the arena lights off in every intermission, which made the taking of decent photographs very difficult. I later learned this is a tradition dating back to the days before the renovation of the PMC, when the staff shut the lights off to keep the building cool. Killing the lights is no longer necessary since air conditioning was installed, but they still do it anyway. In addition, Peterborough is as "promotion-heavy" as any OHL building I've been to. Their promotions girl's voice is nails on a chalkboard, and it's a shame for a team as historic as the Petes to play in an atmosphere where they seem like the sideshow at times. Finally, while the arena sound system is terrific, the music selection is mainly techno and club music, which in my opinion doesn't really belong at a hockey game.

Peterborough's hockey team is connected to the city like few others in Canada. The "mighty maroon and white" is a religion in such a small, out of the way city as Peterborough is. The team is blessed with rabid fans who give the arena a wonderful atmosphere, and Peterborough's renovated Memorial Centre is easily one of the OHL's finest buildings. Much like in Kitchener, Peterborough combines a proud historic building with modern renovations to give a building with the amenities of a new building and the soul of an old one. Peterborough's flaws - the promotions, lighting and lack of a full concourse - are small, but unfortunately, they really stand out in a place that is so close to being perfect.
Future Developments
The Peterborough Memorial Centre underwent a massive renovation over the summer of 2003, which guarantees that Petes hockey will remain in the PMC for years to come. Luxury boxes were added and the building was enlarged. In late 2005 a video scoreboard was added as well. The building sparkles.
Inside the Peterborough Memorial Centre
Peterborough Memorial Centre
What Is It Like For Away Fans?
I have heard stories about Peterborough's fans treating visiting fans poorly, but I have encountered no problems whatsoever over three visits. It's true that London only visits once a year, but the game I went to was penalty-filled and featured a line brawl, so if there were going to be problems I would have expected them at such a game. If you're a fan of the Generals or the Bulls, you might encounter some difficulty, but I found no problems whatsoever.

Knighthawk says:
Not too bad of a rink. It's a good thing I showed up early on a Saturday night. Petes' home games on Saturday nights start at 7:00, NOT 7:30! Fans are pretty good. One fan asked me how (the infamous) Dan Buccella was playing for us. My response was something like "Well... I really can't say because he's been suspended for more games than he has played!"

#1 67's Fan Says:
Pete fans are very nice. I went down there one year, it was a pretty nice arena and the fans kept looking at all us Ottawa fans up in our section. We made a lot of noise which was pretty nice - the fans are nice people also.

How To Get There

The Peterborough Memorial Centre is located at the corner of Lansdowne Street East and Lock Street. If arriving from Highway #115, the fastest way is to enter the city via the Parkway to Lansdowne Street. Turn east on Lansdowne Street. Continue on Lansdowne Street through five sets of lights. The sixth set of lights is George Street. Turn right on George to enter the Memorial Centre parking lot.

Parking is on-site.
Another Look Inside the Peterborough Memorial Centre
Peterborough Memorial Centre
Franchise History
The Peterborough Petes began in Kitchener as the Canucks and the Greenshirts, but moved to Peterborough in 1956-57. Their original name in Peterborough was the TPT's, which came from the team's sponsor, the Toronto-Peterborough Transit Company Ltd.
Retired Numbers
The Petes have not retired any numbers, but they have banners hanging from the ceiling honouring past Petes players and coaches including Bob Gainey, Larry Murphy, Scotty Bowman and Roger Neilson.
Local Rivals
Oshawa and Peterborough maintain the league's oldest rivalry. Peterborough's other rivals include Belleville and Kingston.
About the City
By Peterboroughite Northern Voice:

Located an hour and a half northeast of Toronto, the City of Peterborough has a population of 74,000. The city was established in 1821 when Adam Scott established a mill alongside the Otonabee river which runs through downtown Peterborough. In 1825, the city was named Peterborough after Peter Robinson, the director of almost 2000 Irish settlers who established themselves in the area. As a result of the city's location on both the Otonabee river and the Trent Canal, as well as the close proximity to the Canadian shield, Peterborough is an area that features a lot of natural beauty. It is also these central bodies of water which led to the great flood of 2004. Perhaps as a result of the aesthetically pleasing setting found in the area, as well as the small-town atmosphere which Peterborough retains to this day, the area has become a very popular retirement destination. Peterborough features a clean and vibrant downtown, which remains the city's core area of business. The downside to having such a successful city centre is the lack of a major shopping centre in the area. In fact, most residents will do much of their shopping in either Oshawa or Belleville as a result of the lack of destination stores in Peterborough.

The primary industry in Peterborough is education. The top employers in the city include the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, Sir Sanford Fleming College and Trent University. Also located in the city are General Electric (once the city's major employer), Pepsi-Tropicana-Gatorade (formerly Quaker Oats) and Sysco food services. Several call centres have located in Peterborough in recent years. There are relatively few blue-collar industries within Peterborough. That said, it is estimated that more than 3000 Peterborough residents commute each day to General Motors in Oshawa. As a result, GM employs more Peterborough residents than any employer in Peterborough County. Peterborough, thanks to Fleming College and Trent University has an exciting night life, especially given the relatively small size of the town. All the major bars and pubs are located in the heart of downtown and all are in walking distance from one another. Peterborough's most famous landmark is the world's largest hydraulic liftlock, the key link in the Trent-Severn Waterway. Peterborough remains most famous worldwide for the Peterborough Petes hockey club.

For more information about Peterborough and the Kawarthas, please visit thekawarthas.net.

Feedback

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at email and I'll update the guide.


 

 


Copyright © Kevin Jordan 2002-06.
All rights reserved.
Last Revised: May 8, 2006