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They haven’t played hockey there for about 10-15 years, but yes it is still standing. About five years ago Loblaw grocery chain bought the old historic building and were planning on changing it to a grocery store but never got around to it. It was just announced a few weeks ago that they finally made a decision to go ahead with their plan since they got money from the government. Over 2 million dollars and does anyone remember the capacity of the Gardens? 16,485 ?
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UPDATE - May 13/2010 - Pittsburgh just lost to Montreal Canadiens last night in the Stanley Cup finals and a little trivia I just found out, was that the Canadiens were the first team to play in the Pittsburg arena about 40 years ago and now they are the last ones to play there also, since Pittsburgh is moving into a new stadium which opens sometime in August this summer, Huh, that’s interesting.
Another little bit of trivia was that when Montreal first started in the NHL, (not sure when, about 100 years ago) the rule at that time was that they had to have a minimum seating of 13,000 so Montreal’s seating capacity was 13,009, looks like they just made the cut. It’s over 20,000 now and they had the Bell Centre open to the public last night for $10 seats to watch the game on the scoreboard and it sold out immediately, and then they left the stadium after the game and a few knuckleheads started a mini-riot. Huh …
Many stars have performed at the Maple Leaf Gardens over the years including Elvis in the late 50’s and the Beatles in 1964.
The way they did that was they hooked up with Ryerson University and since it is a public University they can get Federal funding. (in the $$ millions) The last big thing they did at the Historic Gardens was when they made Cinderella Man and the boxing scenes were filmed inside. I’ll say it here first, I think they will call the new Grocery store, “Loblaws MLG” that is my prediction. January, 2010.
Here’s a picture of one of the FINAL tickets for the final game at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1999 against one of the Original Six - Chicago Black Hawks.
They just won the Stanley Cup and are Champions for 2010.
This is the corner stone of this historic building. I better get a picture up before they replace it or put the Loblaw logo over it.
UPDATE - March 30, 2010 - I dropped by yesterday and saw the construction going forward and looks like the work is well underway. They have cleared out all the inside seats and office space, escalators etc. I’m sure there was lots of good stuff in there.
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Daniel .. Toronto, CANADA
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