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The USHL Arena & Travel Guide - Cedar Rapids Ice Arena, Cedar Rapids Ice Arena

Roughriders


Cedar Rapids Roughriders

Arena Name: Cedar Rapids Ice Arena
Capacity: 4,000
Built: 2000
Address: 1100 Rockford Road SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
Telephone No: (319) 247-0340
Ice Surface Size: Regulation
Franchise Date: 1999-2000
USHL Championships: 1: 2004-2005
Anderson Cup Championships: 1: 2004-2005
Colors: Green and White
Official Web Site: roughridershockey.com
Unofficial Site: Riders Fan Site
Arena Web Site: CR Ice Arena

USHL
Cedar Rapids Ice Arena
Cedar Rapids Ice Arena
What's the Arena Like?
The Arena Jacques Plante in downtown Shawinigan, Quebec, is the oldest arena in the QMJHL and the second-oldest in the CHL. While the Windsor Arena may trump Shawinigan by being thirteen years older, make no mistake about it - in spite of Windsorites' complaints about their run-down old barn, at least they have use of such amenities as plastic seats and a centre scoreboard. Shawinigan has none of those things. Instead, they have uncomfortable wooden seats, fat iron support columns blocking views, dirt and grime everywhere, and, in spite of everything, one of the most quirky, lovable hockey rinks in Canada. Like the old Comiskey Park in Chicago before it was demolished, Shawinigan isn't a lyric little bandbox; it isn't a place for suburban families or tourists or corporate types making deals. It's a place for diehards to watch hockey, in an environment that is almost completely unchanged from the day it opened 70 years ago.

Located on the edge of Shawinigan's lively downtown and wedged onto a city block on the banks of the Saint-Maurice River, the Arena opened under the name of the Shawinigan Municipal Auditorium in 1937 (the name was changed in 1994). It's a tall, red brick building done in the Art Deco style, with windows dotting the building's exterior. Ivy covers much of the wall surface on the sides and rear of the rink. The only newish artifice anywhere is the giant Cataractes logo over the main entrance, along with a new sign giving the building's new name. In spite of that, if you look up as you pass through the front door, you can still see the building's old name etched in stone above the door underneath the new sign.

The building's ticket lobby is tiny and leads directly into the main seating area. A ring of coloured wooden bench seats, painted bright red, blue and green, surrounds the ice, with a mini-concourse about halfway up the seating area. Above that on each side is just wooden benches, with no seat backs. Support columns come down from the ceiling in each section to hold the roof up. Directly behind one net, there is a second tier of yellow seats extending to the top of the building, which ultimately gives the building layout a similar feel to the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

As mentioned, there is no centre scoreclock or other amentities. The building really is nothing more than wooden seats surrounding a sheet of ice. The building's quirkiest - and least politically correct - feature is suspended above the yellow seats - it's a cigar store Indian, who holds a little "Go Cats Go" sign in his hand and is apparently wheeled out after every home goal. The Indian is huge and really has to be seen to be believed.

Although its days may be numbered (see below), the Jacques Plante Arena is probably the most unchanged old arena in Canada, with virtually no signs inside that anything has changed in seventy years. The place feels ancient. It's also at the top of my list of places I would like to visit for a game in the CHL, so hopefully I can make the trip back sometime when the Cataractes are going to be in town.
Future Developments
There are no plans to replace or renovate the Tyson Events Center.
What Is It Like For Away Fans?
For opposing fans, the TEC is pretty laid back and calm. Sioux City has had a rep for having bad fans, though I have yet to witness any (drunk and fair weather fans happen everywhere.) The TEC averages under 3,000 per game, so it tends to have an empty feeling. The arena is not intimidating at all, as it's hard for the fans to keep chants going. Sometimes during starting lineups, you can get a few different "Let's go Muskies!" chants through the crowd.

Intimidation Factor:
LOW
Inside the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena
Cedar Rapids Ice Arena

How To Get There

From A-55: Exit at Boul. Trudel (Exit 211) and follow it past the lake into town. When the road dead-ends at Ave. Station, turn right. From there, the route is very well-signed, but for the record, you make a left onto rue 5E and then another left onto Broadway when 5E dead-ends. The rink will be on your left.
Admission Prices
Adult: $13.00
Student: $8.50
Child: $4.50

Top Platform Seating:
Adult: $6.25
Student: $4.25
Child: $2.50
Franchise History
The Shawinigan Bruins were originally a QJHL team with a franchise history dating back further than I have been able to find evidence. In 1969, they were one of the founding members of the new QMJHL. The team today is the only remaining original Q team still in its original location, although the team's name was changed in 1973 to the Shawinigan Dynamos, and then again in 1978 to the present Cataractes.
Local Rivals
Historically, nearby Trois-Rivières was Shawinigan's biggest rival, but with the Draveurs long gone, the Cataractes' biggest rivals now are the other teams in the Montreal-Quebec City corridor, such as Drummondville, Victoriaville, and Quebec.
Places to Eat Near the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena
There are quite a few places to eat near the CRIA. Just up the street is the Pizza Triangle. This consists of the Union Station, The Viking Lounge, and Leonardo's Pizza. All these are located on 16th Ave and they have other food, but the pizza is recommended. .

Feedback

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






Copyright Rob Jaskula 2007-08.
All rights reserved.
Last Revised: February 15, 2008