Exterior view of Rexall Place (c.2010)
|Former names||Northlands Coliseum (1974-95)
Edmonton Coliseum (1995-98)
Skyreach Centre (1998-2003)
Rexall Place (2003-16)
Northlands Coliseum (2016-)
|Address||7424 118 Ave NW
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5B 4M9
|Public transit||Edmonton LRT (Coliseum)
Edmonton Transit System (5, 8, 10, 99, 127, 141, 142, 318)
Concerts: 13,000 (approx)
|Field size||497,700 square feet (46,240 m2)|
|Broke ground||November 3, 1972|
|Opened||November 10, 1974|
|Renovated||1994, 2001, 2007|
|Closed||January 1, 2018|
|Construction cost||C$17.3 million
($84.8 million in 2016 dollars)
1994: $14 million
($21 million in 2016 dollars}
2001: $10 million
($13.1 million in 2016 dollars}
2007: $3.5 million
($4.03 million in 2016 dollars}
$122.9 million in 2016 dollars
|Architect||Phillips, Barrett, Hillier, Jones Partners
Wynn, Forbes, Lord, Feldberg & Schmidt
|Structural engineer||Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.|
|General contractor||Batoni Bowlen Enterprises|
|Main contractors||SE Johnson Ltd. (mechanical)|
|Edmonton Oilers (WHA/NHL) (1974-2016)
Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) (2007-2016)
Edmonton Rush (NLL) (2006-2015)
Edmonton Drillers (CMISL) (2007)
Edmonton Road Runners (AHL) (2004-2005)
Edmonton Drillers (NPSL) (1996-2000)
Edmonton Sled Dogs (RHI) (1994)
Edmonton Skyhawks (NBL) (1993-1994)
Edmonton Drillers (NASL) (1980-1982)
Edmonton Oil Kings (WCHL) (1974-1976)
Northlands Coliseum, or simply the Coliseum, is a now-closed indoor arena located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, situated on the north side of Northlands. It was home to the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL), and the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL). The arena opened in 1974, and was later known as Edmonton Coliseum, Skyreach Centre, and Rexall Place, before returning to the Northlands Coliseum name in summer 2016.
The arena hosted the 1981 and 1984 Canada Cup hockey tournaments, the 1978 Commonwealth Games, seven Stanley Cup finals (Oilers loss in 1983; Oilers victories in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990; and Oilers loss in 2006), many other hockey events, along with other sporting events and major concerts.
The final NHL game was played at the arena on April 6, 2016. Northlands Coliseum closed on the first day of 2018, after which it was transferred to the city. Northlands had planned to re-develop the arena into a multi-level ice facility, but these plans were scrapped after it was found that renovating the facility would be more costly than building a new one.
Housing the World Hockey Association Oilers, Northlands Coliseum opened on November 10, 1974, named after the nonprofit organization that still owns the arena today. Then it became the Edmonton Coliseum in 1995, and Skyreach Centre in 1998, before changing to Rexall Place on November 20, 2003, when its naming rights were purchased by the Rexall medicine company, a subsidiary of Katz Group Canada. The Katz Group later purchased the Oilers and the Oil Kings. When the naming rights expired on August 31, 2016, the name reverted to Northlands Coliseum.
The arena was used to host games in the 1981 and 1984 Canada Cup hockey tournaments, including Game 2 of the 1984 finals between Canada and Sweden. In the 1995 World Junior Championships, which were held in various cities and towns throughout Alberta, Edmonton Coliseum was the site of several games, including Canada's 6-3 victory over Finland on New Year's Day. The arena was one of the venues for the 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.
The venue was the site of several Commonwealth Games sports in 1978, and part of Universiade (the World University Games) in 1983. It also hosted the World Wrestling Entertainment 2004 Backlash pay per view, and the CHL Top Prospects Game in 2008. Annual events include the Canadian Finals Rodeo and the Christian Conference, YC Alberta.
Before the 2007-08 season started, the Oilers dressing room was renovated for $3.5 million. The room is wider with a new medical room, lounge, bar, video room, weight room as well as other new facilities.
The Oilers' final game at Rexall Place was played on April 6, 2016, against the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers won 6-2; the last NHL goal was scored by Oiler Leon Draisaitl. A post-game ceremony was held, featuring current and past Oilers players.
The official capacity for hockey when the arena closed was 16,839, which was slightly less than the 17,100 the arena held before the 2001-02 NHL season. It was one of three NHL arenas (the others being the MTS Centre in Winnipeg and Barclays Center in Brooklyn) not capable of seating more than 17,000 fans in its configuration. When it opened, the capacity was 15,423, but it was increased to 17,490 after the Oilers joined the NHL by adding an extra tier of seating on the side opposite the press box. This was increased to 17,498 in 1982 and to 17,503 in 1986. The arena underwent an extensive renovation in 1994 in which the seating capacity was reduced to make way for 52 luxury suites. 15 more suites were added in 2001. The arena could also be noisy, as noise levels reached 119 decibels during playoff games.
Northlands Coliseum was the first NHL arena in Canada to have a centre-hung scoreboard with an electronic messageboard; the original scoreboard including a black-and-white dot matrix board. This was replaced in 1987 by a centre-hung scoreboard with a colour matrix screen, which in 1994 was replaced with an eight-sided scoreboard with four video screens. The last centre-hung scoreboard, designed by White Way Sign, featured eight message boards at the top and four video screens at the bottom, separated by LED rings. The arena also featured 360-degree fascia signage by Daktronics.
The Coliseum was the last NHL arena with the player benches on the same side as the TV cameras. In all other NHL venues, the TV cameras are on the same side as the scorekeepers table and penalty boxes.
Given the age and small size of the Coliseum (third oldest and third smallest NHL arena in 2010), the construction of a new arena for the Edmonton Oilers was proposed by the Katz Group in 2010. An agreement was reached in January 2012 between the Katz Group and the City of Edmonton for the construction of Rogers Place in Downtown Edmonton. Construction started in March 2014, and it opened in September 2016 with a seating capacity of 18,347. Northlands stated that the old arena would remain open, and a number of concerts and sporting events were held after the Oilers left.
On February 17, 2016, Northlands unveiled plans to convert Northlands Coliseum into a multi-level ice facility, with a later proposal calling for a partnership with Hockey Canada to make it a Hockey Canada Centre of Excellence, but it was discovered that renovating the Coliseum would be more costly than building a new facility.
As major concerts and events were drawn to Rogers Place, Northlands experienced declines in revenue. This made it difficult for the non-profit organization to pay off a loan by the City that was used to fund the 2009 expansion of the Edmonton Expo Centre. On September 13, 2017, the City of Edmonton reached an agreement to take over the arena from Northlands effective January 1, 2018 (the same date that control of the Edmonton Expo Centre transferred to the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation under a similar agreement), as it prepared to transition to primarily being an agricultural organization. The venue permanently ceased operations before the end of the year; future plans for the building are yet to be decided. As an aspect of this deal, Oilers Entertainment Group also agreed to release the city from a $17 million (out of $20 million) sponsorship agreement.
The following bands recorded live performances in the arena: