Wildcats


Moncton Wildcats

Arena Name: J-Louis Levesque Arena
Capacity: 1,516 (1,339 seated)
Built: 1966
Last Game: 2009
Address: 450 Universite Avenue, Moncton, NB E1A 3E9
Ice Surface Size: 197' x 85'
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QMJHL
J-Louis Levesque Arena
J-Louis Levesque Arena
What was the Arena Like?
Writeup by Rejean Leblanc, whom I thank.
When the World Curling Championships arrived in Moncton in early 2009, the Moncton Wildcats had just started their playoff run, with their home ice, the Moncton Coliseum, booked solid throughout the tournament. The team scrambled to find a temporary replacement, and wound up playing three playoff games at the J.-Louis Levesque Arena. Known as the "Nid des Aigles" (Eagles' Nest), it is the home rink of the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus hockey team.

The building itself is quite old and since it predates the league, was obviously not concieved with the QMJHL in mind. The Arena is located at one of the corners of the Universite de Moncton's Moncton Campus, and its outer shell is essentially a chic 1960s era box-shaped beige building completely surrounded by parking lots. Once you enter the building by its main entrance, the building's age is apparent. You are greeted by a very old, small and simple ticket booth area which can get very full very fast during Aigles Bleus (and I'm sure Wildcats) playoff games. Once you have your ticket and you crowd-surf your way to the stairs, you get a bit more elbow room.

Once upstairs, you enter what is essentially the proper entrance. Although the Arena is small, it is very easy to get around. There are just under 700 brightly-colored seats on each side of the ice surface, with a "concession" area at each end of the ice. Because of this design, you can walk the entire way around the Arena, from one concession area to the other and back the other way. This gives it both a low seating capacity (1,339 seats) but also ease of mobility. Cameras and Media personnel sit in a tiny gondola-style booth hanging over the south side seats. Not exactly the best of setups, but the Wildcats made due with what they had.

The J.-Louis-Levesque does have one major drawback: Pillars. 5 of them on each side to be exact. They are placed about three rows down, and in certain seats this makes seeing half the ice surface completely impossible. During games where the Arena is almost sold out, a lot of fans opt to stand against the rail on the pathway rather than sit in their horribly-placed seats, blocking the flow of traffic to and from the concession areas. At Wildcats games, I can only imagine the traffic jam up there, with about a hundred fans standing in the walkway. Not the optimal way to watch a hockey game.

All in all, J.-Louis-Levesque was nothing more than a stop-gap solution to a lack of home ice time. The rink would not be able to house a full-time QMJHL team, and I would be very surprised to see them play there again but the people working at J.L.L. did their very best to try and accomodate the Wildcats and their fans for their three playoff games.

How To Get There

From the TransCanada highway #2, take the Elmwood Drive exit, drive down to Morton Ave. and take a right. Pass the first set of lights and at the following one you will get to the intersection of Morton and Universite. Turn left on Universite and the Arena is on your right.
Inside the J-Louis Levesque Arena
J-Louis Levesque Arena
What's it Used For Today?
The J.-Louis-Levesque Arena has been the home of the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus since the 1960's, and the home of the Odyssee Olympiens high school team since the school opened in 2005. The rest of the day's ice time is filled with public and student pickup hockey and public skating.

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 2002-09.
All rights reserved.
Last Revised: January 19, 2009