Monday, February 24, 2014

The Mystique of the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre

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The Mystique of the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre

By Sora Kazesawa
The Daily Magi
October 15, 2063


The Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre (formerly UBC Winter Sports Centre, also known as UBC Thunderbird Arena) is a LEED Silver certified indoor arena in Canada, on the campus of the University of British Columbia. Located in the University Endowment Lands, it is just outside the city limits of Vancouver, British Columbia. The arena is home to the UBC Thunderbirds men's and women's ice hockey teams, and contains one international-size 61 m × 30 m (200 ft × 98.4 ft) ice rink.

The facility was built around an older hockey facility, the historic Father Bauer Arena, which opened in October 1963. This was named after the late Rev. Father David Bauer, who, together with Bob Hindmarch, established Canada’s first national hockey team at UBC in 1963 in preparation for the 1964 Winter Olympics. The UBC Thunderbird Arena replaced the Father Bauer Arena as the home of the UBC Thunderbirds ice hockey team.

The main ice rink has 7,500 seats and can expand to 8,000 for concerts. The other rinks are Father Bauer Arena and Rink C with spectator capacities of 980 and 200, respectively.

Construction began in April 2006 with the refurbishment of the Father Bauer Arena and the addition of a new practice arena. The new stadium arena was opened on July 7, 2008. On August 21, 2009, the Thunderbird Sports Centre was renamed Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in honour of Doug Mitchell, an UBC alumnus, lawyer, and amateur and professional sports leader.

The venue was used for several men's and women's ice hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics, and was used for sledge hockey in the 2010 Winter Paralympics. The venue was used in Canada's first round draw against France in the Davis Cup in February 2012, and it was used again in February and April 2013 when Canada faced Spain and then Italy. The 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games were held in Vancouver and the University of British Columbia was the host venue for the competition being held from July 7 to 13, 2014. The Games featured athletes with an intellectual disability from across the country going for gold in 11 sports.

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