Mooseheads


Halifax Mooseheads

Arena Name: Halifax Metro Centre
Capacity: 10,500
Built: 1978
Address: 1800 Argyle St., Halifax, NS, B3J 2V9
Telephone No: (902) 451-1221
Ice Surface Size: Regulation
Franchise Date: 1994-95
QMJHL Championships: None
Memorial Cup Championships: None
Colours: Red, Green, & White
Official Web Site: http://www.halifaxmooseheads.ca/
Venue Web Site: HalifaxMetroCentre.com
Unofficial Site: MooseTalk Message Board
Tourist Information: HalifaxInfo.com
Occasional Second Home: Halifax Forum
Google Satellite: Click Here

QMJHL
Halifax Metro Centre
Halifax Metro Centre
What's the Arena Like?
The Halifax Metro Centre is a 1970's-looking building built into the side of a hill in downtown Halifax. It's built at the foot of Citadel Hill, and from the high entrance on Brunswick Street you can look up at the Old Town Clock and the Citadel fortifications, or down towards Halifax Harbour. As a result of being built into the side of a hill, the building does not appear that tall from the high side; in fact it blends as seamlessly into the neighbourhood as any 10,000-seat arena can. The architecture fits Halifax as well, given that so much of the city's downtown was built in the 1960's and 1970's. Brown brick and concrete highrises abound everywhere. The main entrance to the building is down the hill near the bottom of the arena, and you enter it from the side.

The main lobby of the Metro Centre is a smallish affair; a long corridor without a lot of height to it. The team shop is down here as well as ticket booths. When I visited the lobby was being renovated as well, so more things may be under construction. Once you have your ticket it's time to tackle a flight of stairs, which leads you up not into the main concourse, but to another level where history is on display. I'm not sure what the point of the second level is except to provide extra washrooms. Another climb upstairs and you're finally into the main concourse. The concourse on the "low" side of the arena is wide and impressive. Souvenir stands and concessions line the hallways, and there is also a lounge area in an atrium-like setting featuring more pictures of Halifax sporting history and such. It appears that the building was constructed alongside a heritage building, as the lounge's wall is an old-looking facade to a brick building. The concourse extends around the building; in the ends it overlooks the seating bowl whereas on the "high" side of the arena it's glassed in and affords a good view of Brunswick Street and the Citadel.

The first view of Halifax's seating area is very impressive. A wide ring of orange seats surrounds the ice surface, while two other decks of seating extend back along each side into the heavens. Private suites line the arena on three sides, with the press box high in the rafters above suite level on one side. The view from any lower-bowl seat is terrific, and it really "feels" like you're at a professional game sitting in those seats. However, seating in Halifax is like the little girl with the curl in her hair - when it's good, it's very, very good, and when it's bad, it's horrid. Every single seat in the upper deck has at least a partially obstructed view. The arena wasn't designed with private suites, and I am sure that back in 1978 the upper deck seats were fine, but since they've added the suites, the underside of the suite level completely cuts off the upper deck from the game. It's not easy to watch hockey from forty-two rows back anyway, but when you're in the last row at the Metro Centre you can't see the scoreboard or the other side of the seating area; you can only see the ice, and even then, just barely. (See picture below.) The front few rows of the upper deck are still decent enough, but near the back you may as well stay home. At least there aren't any columns in the way. The seats themselves are originals from the seventies; they're reasonably comfortable but also are obviously aging. Much of the building feels that way, in fact - those things which have been renovated sparkle, but other areas feel like they need at least a coat of paint. The glass surrounding the ice surface is also incredibly low, and pucks go out of play more easily in Halifax than in most arenas. It seems to be a colossal oversight from such an otherwise professional building.

Once the game starts Halifax shows some real quality. The team scoreboard is the best I've ever encountered in junior hockey and is better than some NHL boards. It features full video screens, a new board for timing and such, and a ring of red and green Christmas lights that go off when the team scores. The Halifax goal horn is a classic one similar to the NHL horn in Buffalo. Views of the ice, at least from the lower bowl, are terrific. The sound system is top-notch. There are a few too many promotions for my taste, but at least they tend not to interrupt the game much. Washrooms are clean. Peripherals are fine.

The Mooseheads run a tight, professional ship. The Metro Centre is the biggest hockey arena in Atlantic Canada, and in some ways it feels completely like a new building while in others it feels like the late 70's construction that it is. I would imagine that the team and city would like to repaint the building and replace all the seats at some point in the future, as those two things are the last two that really remind you of the Metro Centre's true age. Nonetheless, watching a game in Halifax is great fun and the views of the game are some of the best in junior hockey - if you're in the lower bowl. If you're in the upper bowl, you can still try to enjoy yourself, in spite of the suites that block out all connection to the game. It seems to me that it would have made more sense to knock out a few of the seats in the back of the upper bowl and build the suite level right at the back of the building - better 9,000 good seats than 6,000 good ones and 4,000 horrible ones - but no matter. The Metro Centre is still one of Canada's finest junior hockey buildings, and the Mooseheads and the QMJHL are pretty much fully integrated into the fabric of Atlantic Canada's largest city, and so it seems that junior hockey will have a place at the foot of Citadel Hill for decades to come.
Future Developments
The glass in the Metro Centre is now regulation-sized as of 2007.

How To Get There

The Halifax Metro Centre is located right in the heart of downtown Halifax and there really isn't a good and easy way to get there. You can pick out your own route on a map if you like, however, these directions are relatively simple and they will work.

From Hwy. 102, follow it until it ends and take Bayers road East into town. Follow it until it ends and turn right on Windsor Street. Follow Windsor to North Street and turn left. Follow North Street to Gottingen and turn right. Follow Gottingen until it dead-ends at the Halifax Citadel. Turn left. You will see the Metro Centre on your right across the street from the Citadel grounds.

Parking is in a number of private pay lots surrounding the Metro Centre.
Inside the Halifax Metro Centre
Halifax Metro Centre
Franchise History
The QMJHL took a huge risk in the mid-1990's in expanding into the Maritimes. Prior to 1994, the Q had been a Quebec-only junior league, and the Maritimes had been AHL territory, with teams in Halifax, Saint John, Fredericton, Sydney, and other centres. However, the Metro Centre was going to be sitting empty for 1994-95 and the Q took a risk in expanding, and the league has never looked back. The Mooseheads joined as an expansion team and were the catalyst that sparked the Q into its growth into a premier junior league representing provinces across the country.
Retired Numbers
18 Alex Tanguay
25 Jody Shelley
47 Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Obstructed Views at the Halifax Metro Centre
Halifax Metro Centre
Local Rivals
Halifax's Nova Scotian cousin Cape Breton is by far the biggest rival of the Mooseheads. Nearby Moncton is also a rival.

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 2002-07.
All rights reserved.
Last Revised: September 14, 2007