The newest revenue stream and main attraction for Mile One Centre for at least the next three years, will be the St. John’s IceCaps. Within weeks of announcing a new AHL team for the area, 4,700 season tickets were sold – the most in the AHL. Newfoundland native Jason King recently signed a contract with the IceCaps, after three years in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) in Germany. Now there is even a bigger reason to head to Mile One when the hometown ‘Caps, as they will be know locally, play downtown.
The culture and commercial activity for the city meet in the middle at Mile One Centre, located right next to Town Hall on New Gower Street in downtown St. John’s. The name “Mile One” is based upon geography, as the Trans Canada Highway begins in St. John’s. It was named by Danny Williams in 2001.
Speaking of Danny…
After listening and talking to the IceCaps owner, along with GM Glenn Stanford after the logo launch at Mile One, I found out how passionate they were for hockey and excited for the return of it to St. John’s. Their hectic 18 hour work days will pay off. They will make the IceCaps a great organization like the Detroit Red Wings; well run, well organized and determined to succeed.
The AHL’s newest home for action isn’t shy from hosting hockey events. It has already been the home of two previous hockey teams: the St. John’s Fog Devils (2005-2008) of the QMJHL, and the St. John’s Maple Leafs (1991-2005) of the AHL, currently the Toronto Marlies. It has also held an NHL preseason game in 2007 when the New York Islanders played the Boston Bruins. This year it will be host to another in September – KRAFT Hockeyville 2011 featuring the new Winnipeg Jets vs. Ottawa Senators.
Other prestigious events hosted include:
- TELUS Cup (2010)
- Women’s Four Nations Cup (2010)
- 5th World Junior Ball Hockey Champioship (2008)
- World Under 17 Hockey Challenge (2004)
- AHL All Star Game (2002)
The arena, which opened in 2001 for the start of the St. John’s Maple Leafs 10th AHL campaign, will see in September and the coming months, a full house of 6,247 fans watching excitedly the return of professional hockey to Newfoundland and Labrador. I for one cannot wait for October 14, 2011; a night to remember for hockey fans not only in St John’s and the rest of the province, but Canadian hockey fans to.