Drummondville Voltigeurs

Arena Name: Stade de la Cité des Jeunes
Capacity: 2,457
Built: 1964
Used by the Q: 1998
Address: 75, rue Frontenac, Rivière-du-Loup, QC, G5R 1S6
Ice Surface Size: Unknown


 Stade de la Cité des Jeunes

Stade de la Cite des Jeunes

 What Was the Arena Like?

At first glance this appears ridiculous. Any person with a map and a sincere yet kind of dickish desire to prove you wrong can tell you that Drummondville to Rivière-du-Loup is 330 km along Autoroute 20; a pleasant drive along the south shore of the St. Lawrence, but a long way to go for a "home" game in the dead of winter. But this did actually happen.

In January 1998 the Ottawa Valley and Quebec was hit with a gigantic ice storm that made international news. This was not simply your run-of-the-mill ice buildup either - the storm knocked out power for several weeks in the Montérégie, including Drummondville. With no hydro to stage games, and with customers having more pressing issues on their mind than beating the tar out of the Tigres, the Voltigeurs quickly signed a lease in Rivière-du-Loup. They ultimately played three games out of their home away from home - two poorly-attended tilts against Victoriaville and Laval, and a sold-out game against nearby Rimouski. The Voltigeurs finally returned home in mid-February, and around that time people also stopped talking about Rivière-du-Loup as a potential future expansion destination due to the lackluster support of the iced-out visitors from the locals.

I finally made it to Rivière-du-Loup on a Sunday night in 2018 after having gone to a game in Rimouski, and thankfully, mercifully, the door was open. The building is a prime example of concrete brutalist arena architecture, with a barrel roof overtop of a concrete facade free of ornamentation apart from the city's coat of arms. There is a small parking lot adjacent, with the new, gleaming Centre Premier Tech arena towering next door.

Once inside, the building appears to exist in the not-so-sweet spot where it's too young to have had a comprehensive overhaul, but too old to be fresh. Paint is peeling off concrete walls inside, and the building feels run down. The front lobby has a mural of athletes set into the concrete including, incongruously given the 1964 date of construction, the Olympic rings. Once up into the bowl, you find five rows of seating in red and yellow and a high, wooden barrel roof overhead. There is no centre clock, though there would easily be space for one. A top concourse surrounds the seating bowl.

An inside passage connects the Stade with the new arena next door. The Stade doesn't feel at this point like it would be capable of hosting today's QMJHL, though obviously it would never have to do so with a reasonably new, modern, airy rink available. Yet I'm glad they saved the Stade de la Cité des Jeunes; it's an arena from an era and in an architectural style that is becoming less and less common.

 Inside Stade de la Cité des Jeunes

Stade de la Cite des Jeunes

 What's the Arena Used for Today?
The Stade de la Cité des Jeunes, perhaps appropriately given its name, is mostly only used for youth hockey and community functions today. Rivière-du-Loup opened an adjacent new 3,000 seat arena in 2005 called Centre Premier Tech, which is home to the 3L de Rivière-du-Loup of the LNAH.

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at Email and I'll update the guide.

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Last Revised: December 18, 2019