The UBC Thunderbird Arena or the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre actually has three hockey arenas. This Olympic venue is situated at the University Endowment Lands and is just outside the city limits of Vancouver.
The newly-built Thunderbird Arena was named after a former UBC student who donated $10 Million to the university. It features and International size rink and used for the men’s and women’s ice hockey matches both in the Olympics and sledge hockey for the Paralympics. It features and International-size ice-rink of 61 m × 30 m (200 ft × 98.4 ft) and used for the men’s and women’s ice hockey matches both in the Olympics and sledge hockey for the Paralympics.
The Thunderbird arena is the largest of the three in the sports centre and has a permanent seating for 5,054 persons. During the 2010 Olympics, 1,800 additional seats were added. The arena was built at a cost of $47.8 million. It was a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver building for its efficient use of energy. Heat extracted from ice refrigeration is reused in warming the building and to provide hot water.
[Please click on each photo to view description at Flickr.]
Right now, the Thunderbird arena is undergoing renovation, mainly to have the dividers between the ice rink and the spectators taken out and the whole place cleaned. It’ll re-open again on May 03, 2010.
In the future, this main arena can be booked for concerts, cabaret, film shoots and of course, men’s or women’s hockey games. A Hollywood production, She’s the Man, was filmed at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium for certain soccer stadium scenes. In a concert configuration, floors spaces can be used to accommodate an additional 2,000 people. ZZ Top will be the first musical acts post-Games on June 05, 2010.
The second arena is the Father Bauer Arena built in 1963. Rev. Father David Bauer, together with others established Canada’s first national hockey team at UBC for the 1964 Winter Olympics. During the 2010 Games, the Father Bauer Arena was used for training. Post-Games, it stays as a hockey arena. This arena has a smaller capacity with 980 seats.
The main Thunderbird Arena has now replaced Father Bauer Arena as home of the UBC Thunderbirds ice hockey team. A Daktronics All Sport 5000 Scoreboard Controller is used in the Father Bauer Arena for the digital scoreboard. This arena is open right now for amateur hockey plays.
There is a little-known arena simply named as Rink C. This was added as a practice rink when the main Thunderbird Arena was built. Rink C has very few seats.
According to First Nations mythology, Thunderbird is a giant superbird capable of creating thundering lightning strikes. The supernatural being hunts killer whales and often depicted as lifting its prey right out of the ocean through the use of its powerful talons.