Cambria County War Memorial Arena
The Cambria County War Memorial Arena is a 4,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Johnstown, Pennsylvania that is managed by SMG Entertainment. It was built in 1950, for the Johnstown Jets of the Eastern Hockey League. The arena was built on the site of the Union Cemetery, Johnstown's first cemetery. The film Slap Shot, based on the Jets, was filmed in this arena. The arena was the home of the Johnstown Chiefs (ice hockey) for 22 years, but they were relocated in 2010 to Greenville, South Carolina. A banner was hung at the final home game on April 4, 2010 stating "The Greatest Fans in Hockey." It was the alternate venue of the Wheeling Nailers for the next two seasons. The arena is home to the Johnstown Tomahawks of the NAHL and the Pitt-Johnstown Ice Cats of the College Hockey East.
|Location||326 Napoleon Street|
Johnstown, PA 15901
|Broke ground||October 31, 1949|
|Opened||October 16, 1950|
|Johnstown Jets (EHL/IHL/NAHL) (1950–1977)|
Johnstown Red Wings (EHL) (1978–1980)
Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL) (1988–2010)
Johnstown Jackals (IFL) (2000)
Johnstown J-Dogs (NIFL) (2001)
Johnstown Riverhawks (AIFA) (2005–2007)
Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) (alternate, 2010–2012)
Johnstown Generals (UIFL) (2011–2012)
Johnstown Tomahawks (NAHL) (2012–present)
The arena plays host to a variety of events throughout the year. Many local high schools and youth leagues also use the arena for their games. The arena hosts the annual PIAA Southwest Regional Wrestling Tournament, the Pennsylvania Cheerleading Championships, and basketball championship games for PIAA District 6 and the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference.
The arena has hosted political rallies with Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Donald Trump, and Vice Presidential candidates Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Senator John Edwards.
Performances at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena over the years have included AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alabama, Alice Cooper, Beach Boys, Blue Öyster Cult, Bo Diddley, Bob Hope, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Bon Jovi, Boston, Bryan Adams, Brad Paisley, Brooks & Dunn, Bruce Springsteen, Chicago, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Dave Clark Five, Dolly Parton, Duke Ellington, Foghat, Foreigner, George Jones, George Strait, Heart, Jeff Dunham, Johnny Cash, Johnny Mathis, Josh Turner, Judas Priest, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Rogers, Kid Rock, Kiss, Larry the Cable Guy, LeAnn Rimes, Lonestar, Loretta Lynn, Louis Armstrong, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Matchbox Twenty, Martina McBride, Merle Haggard, MercyMe, Meredith Andrews, Metallica, Miranda Lambert, Nat King Cole, Ozzy Osbourne, Phyllis Diller, Quiet Riot, Reba McEntire, Rebecca Lynn Howard, REO Speedwagon, Rob Zombie, Santana, Sara Evans, Skillet, Styx, The Carpenters, The Supremes, TobyMac, Tom Jones, Trace Adkins, Willie Nelson, Yardbirds, and ZZ Top.
The other primary tenant at the arena, the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Icecats hockey team, is currently the longest-serving tenant at the arena, having played there since 2009.
With the Chiefs' relocation, their former archrivals Wheeling Nailers played one pre-season game and ten regular season games in the Arena during the 2010-11 ECHL season, and ten more games at the Arena during the 2011-12 ECHL season.
Four local high school ice hockey teams utilize the arena as their home, to include Bishop McCort and Westmont Hilltop of the PIHL and Conemaugh Valley and Greater Johnstown of the LMHL.
The Johnstown Warriors is the arena's amateur youth representative, and competes in the PAHL.
In 2002, a $16.2 million grant from the commonwealth was approved for an entertainment complex in downtown Johnstown. In addition, the Tampa Bay Lightning organization contributed significant funds toward a renovation of the arena. As part of the grant, the Cambria County War Memorial Arena underwent an $8 million renovation. This included the addition of new seating, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, dasher boards, an elevator to the second floor, and general building enhancements. The project was completed in August 2003. The arena's capacity for hockey is 4,001.
In 2015, the Cambria County War Memorial Arena was nominated to the top 10 of the first ever Kraft Hockeyville USA contest with Pullar Stadium (Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan), HealthyZone Rink (East Aurora, New York), Highgate Sports Arena (Highgate, Vermont), and the Quincy Youth Arena (Quincy, Massachusetts). With winning round 1 the War Memorial moved to round 2 with Pullar Stadium. Johnstown won round 2 also with advancing to the Finals against Decatur Civic Center (Decatur, Illinois). In the final round, Johnstown won and the War Memorial was given $150,000 in upgrades and hosted an NHL Preseason Game on September 29, 2015. The match up included the Pittsburgh Penguins defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-2.
- "Key Dates in the History of the Cambria County War Memorial Arena". The Tribune-Democrat. Johnstown. September 28, 2015. Retrieved March 25, 2017.
- "The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA - Capturing the spirit of "Slap Shot" ... 30 years later". Archived from the original on 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- "Johnstown, PA Wins Title of First-Ever "Kraft Hockeyville USA"" (Press release). National Hockey League. May 2, 2015. Retrieved May 2, 2015.