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first ontario centre, Hamilton
(3.6/5 based on 85+ reviews on the web)
FirstOntario Centre is a sports and entertainment arena on the corner of Bay Street North and York Boulevard in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The arena, which opened in 1985, has a capacity of up to 19,000.HistoryHamilton was left without a large ice hockey arena with the demolition of the Barton Street Arena in 1977, and even that arena had a relatively small seating capacity by modern standards. FirstOntario Centre was designed with a large capacity in part to lure a National Hockey League expansion franchise. Construction was started in 1983 and was completed two years later at a cost of $33.5 million, with an additional $2.3 million spent on a parking garage. The project was overseen by local Hamiltonian Joseph Pigott. The arena was originally named Copps Coliseum after long-time mayor Victor Copps, the patriarch of a Hamilton political family which includes his daughter, former Member of Parliament of Canada and Member of Provincial Parliament of Ontario Sheila Copps, and wife, Geraldine, who was a long-time councillor.The arena's first scoreboard clock was originally from the Winnipeg Arena, and was purchased for $214,000. The original Day Signs/Naden scoreboard, built in Toronto, was replaced in the mid-1990s by a centre-hung scoreboard with an electronic message centre on each side, which, in return was replaced with the current scoreboard, built in Hamilton by Media Resources and featuring a LED video board on each side.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • First time at this venue and I was so pleased!! Steps from our hotel the process of getting in was well organized and quick! Seating was great and because Carrie Underwood had a Centre stage set up I ...  more »
  • We were there for Carrie Underwood. The stadium is smaller and made it so all the fans were closer (even Carrie mentioned how nice it was to be playing in a place where she could see everyone.) Maybe ...  more »
  • We were in Hamilton for Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire Heart & Soul Tour 3.0 at the First Ontario Centre last Saturday night. I haven't been to the First Ontario Centre since it was called Copps Colis...  more »
Google
  • Trekked all the way here (then called Copp's Coliseum) from Toronto to catch a Black Sabbath show. The journey was somewhat of a pain but the venue was nice - kind of reminded me of a sports stadium, ice hockey rink feel. Small town crowd, nice and welcoming. Seats were a bit cramped but I had decent sightlines and sound was great.
  • Bulldogs games are nice, but $26 for a ticket is ridiculous, especially in the downtown core. They'd get a lot more fans if they lowered the ticket prices. Also, when the stadium is really busy, there's only one concourse for two levels. Although, the washroom facilities are always clean and are massive.
  • Really great venue. Seemed like you'd get a good view from anywhere. Not a ton of security and ushers yelling at you every time you stopped in the aisle to take a picture. Beverages at expected inflated event prices but not outrageous. Great downtown location within walking distance of eateries and parking lots.
  • The theatre is beautiful but the seating is tight. If you are tall, get an aisle seat or you will be hitting your knees against the seat in front of you. Food selection is awful if you have any food sensitivities. Only offer Pizza Pizza, a hot dog place, popcorn, nachos, and beverages. I think there was a poutine place too. A bottle of water is $4.00. Washrooms are clean and large So they accommodate the crowd well. I saw Cirque de Soleil here and it was a perfect venue a show as intense and visually impactful.
  • Nice facility but food is expensive and kids run around