Titan


Acadie-Bathurst Titan

Arena Name: K.C. Irving Regional Centre
or, Centre Régional K.C. Irving
Capacity: 3,524 (3,162 seated)
Built: 1996
Address: 850 Ste-Anne St., Bathurst, New Brunswick, E2A 6X2
Telephone No: (506) 549-3200
Ice Surface Size: Regulation
Franchise Date: 1998-99
QMJHL Championships: 1, in 1998-99
Memorial Cup Championships: None
Colours: Red, Navy, Yellow & White
Official Web Site: http://www.letitan.com/
Unofficial Sites: Titan Message Board, Titan Message Board (Français)
Tourist Information: Bathurst.ca

QMJHL
K.C. Irving Regional Centre
Centre Regional K.C. Irving
What's the Arena Like?
Although the Canadian Hockey League now has franchises in major cities like Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax, junior hockey is still primarily a game with its roots in small-town Canada. And across the spectrum of the CHL's member cities throughout all ten Canadian provinces and five US states, they don't come any smaller than Bathurst, New Brunswick. A tiny harbour town in New Brunswick's remote northeastern corner, Bathurst is at the centre of the Acadian bilingual belt, a section of the country not bound by French Bill 101 or by Ontarian Orange English-language pride, and as a result, the area is perhaps the most uncomplainingly bilingual in Canada. It's interesting to be in a place where English and French both seem to be an accepted part of daily life, and the K.C. Irving Regional Centre (aka the Centre Régional K.C. Irving) fits right into this milieu.

Located on the outskirts of town near a movie theatre, the K.C. Irving Regional Centre is a newish building built of light brown brick and white and teal aluminum siding. There are two ice pads at the arena, with the smaller community pad located around the back of the building. The Centre is not particularly interesting architecturally, but the gigantic Titan logos on the corners of the building make it shout hockey. Once inside the front doors you find yourself in a small lobby with ticket booths, trophies, and a small team store. The main entrance to the arena bowl is located behind heavy doors, and once you pass through these you find yourself in an open top concourse looking out over a sea of blue seats.

The arena layout is excellent. It's a standard ring of seats with an open concourse similar to many new buildings, but the concourse is wide enough to maneuver without being too wide, the seating is perfectly-angled to afford a terrific view from every seat, and the standing-room views are terrific too. There are two gondolas of private boxes running down each side of the building, and one end features a large licensed lounge overlooking the ice. The fourth end features a "canteen" restaurant and snack bar. Banners from the team's long history in Laval and in Bathurst hang from the ceiling. The scoreclock is new and works well and has a video screen, but amazingly, the screen itself is barely the size of a standard television set. As a result, it's practically unwatchable. In addition, often on replays the screen shows the words "Video Calibration" which just seems to emphasize the low-tech setup. How they could have designed the clock like that is beyond me; it would almost be better to have no screen at all than one you can't see. Music at Titan games could best be described as "1990's Gay Disco Dance Party". It's also too loud. Washrooms are fine. The building still feels new in spite of being over ten years old, and it has been maintained spotlessly as well.

Once the game starts the bilingual nature of the building really shows through. You're likely to have French-speakers on one side of you and English-speakers on the other in the stands, and all the announcements are bilingual as well. Half of the advertising signs are in English and half are in French. For some reason, not all the rinkboard ads were sold, though - the Irving Centre features the only white space on the boards I've seen in all junior hockey. I don't know why this is, especially considering there are a number of signs hanging from the rafters. Interestingly, after the game the announcer personally interviewed the first star of the game, and the star's responses were all then translated by the interviewer. The P.A. announcer also pronounced the word "Titan" as "Teetahn" in French and "Tye-tin" in English.

Hockey at the Irving Centre is a great experience. Attending a game in Quebec is just as francophone as attending a game in southern Ontario is anglophone, but in Bathurst, the two languages exists side-by-side without conflict. It's refreshing. While Bathurst may be the smallest town represented in today's CHL, the people of the Acadian region support their "Regional Team" well. The building has a great atmosphere. As new buildings go, the K.C. Irving Regional Centre is one of the best. While not as over-the-top in facilities as some new arenas, it more than makes up for it with a friendly, bilingual, small-town charm and with a fiery passion for their local team.
Future Developments
I'm told that four supplemental projection video screens have been installed since my visit there. Otherwise, there are no plans to renovate or replace the K.C. Irving Regional Centre. The Titan were widely rumoured to be moving near the end of the 2008-09 season, but it would appear that for the moment, they will be staying put.

How To Get There

From Hwy. 11: Exit at Ste. Anne St. and proceed east into town. The arena will be on your left.

Parking is on-site.
Inside the K.C. Irving Regional Centre
Centre Régional K.C. Irving
Franchise History
The Titan franchise was one of the founding members of the QMJHL, playing in 1969-70 in the Montreal borough of Rosemont at Paul Sauvé Arena as the Rosemont National. However that did not last long, and in 1971 they moved to the Colisée de Laval, where they would become one of the Q's cornerstone franchises, winning four league titles under the names of Laval Voisins (Neighbours) and Laval Titan. The team produced several legendary hockey players during their time at the Colisée de Laval, including Hall of Famers Mario Lemieux and Mike Bossy. However, the team ran into attendance problems in the mid 1990's, and decamped to the heart of Acadia in 1998.
Retired Numbers
All of these players played for the franchise in Laval. No Titan from Bathurst have been retired, but the franchise has maintained its retirees throughout its move.

10 Claude Lapointe
17 Mike Bossy
19 Neil Carnes
21 Vincent Damphousse
22 Martin Lapointe
30 Gino Odjick
37 Patrice Bergeron
66 Mario Lemieux

Local Rivals
Moncton and Bathurst were the first two QMJHL teams in New Brunswick and the natural rivalry between the two is very strong. PEI is also a rival, and Saint John may develop into one, as provincial pride is now a three-way fight.

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