Arenas of the Western Hockey League - East Division
Home of the Brandon Wheat Kings
The Wheat Kings have been one of the cornerstone franchises of the WHL since the league's inception, and since the early 1970's they've called the Keystone Centre home. The arena sits in the south end of town on the grounds of the Manitoba Exposition Grounds, and it's as flat and windswept of a setting as the prairies themselves. Inside the bowl is U-shaped, and it feels larger than it is in spite of the low ceiling. The rink is surrounded by parking lots and was definitely worth the two hours and change drive from Winnipeg for no other reason other than to see it.
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Home of the Moose Jaw Warriors
True story: I parked the car on this side of the arena and then walked all the way around Mosaic Place looking for the front. It turns out this is it. In the suburbs, architecture like this wouldn't be quite as offensive, but bland, windowless siding in the middle of a downtown area is a travesty.
Home of the Regina Pats
Regina's Agridome was built back in the days when fake stucco and radioactive orange siding was the height of fashion. On the inside it looks like it's aged better judging by pictures.
Home of the Saskatoon Blades
The former Saskatchewan Place opened in the late 1980's and is the largest arena in Canada relative to the size of the market it serves, with a whopping 15,000+ seats serving a city of 246,000.
Credit Union iPlex
(Centennial Civic Centre)
Swift Current, Saskatchewan
Home of the Swift Current Broncos
The Centennial Civic Centre is now the oldest arena in the Western League, and is a throwback in the way that very few other arenas in the CHL are outside of Quebec. History drips from everywhere, from the lobby full of plaques and memorabilia, to the tiny team store once again full of blue and green merchandise after years experimenting with crummy new logos, to the wood floors around the building. And sure, the arena is tiny, and I'm not entirely sure how the team survives in the CHL's smallest city, but I'm glad they do. In spite of its character, the "iPlex" has been properly maintained over the years, and is one of the remaining throwbacks to days gone by.