Colisée Pepsi (formerly known as Colisée de Québec) was a multi-purpose arena located in Quebec City, Quebec. It was the home of the Quebec Nordiques from 1972 to 1995, during their time in the World Hockey Association and National Hockey League. It was also the home of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 1999 until its closing in 2015. The Colisée hosted the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament annually in February until its closing in 2015, with almost 2,300 young hockey players from 16 countries participating annually.
June 2012 view of the Colisée Pepsi
|Former names||Colisée de Québec (1949-99)|
250, boulevard Wilfrid-Hamel
Quebec City, Quebec
|Broke ground||May 24, 1949|
|Opened||December 8, 1949|
|Closed||September 14, 2015|
($32.1 million in 2017 dollars)
Bouchard & Rinfret
|Quebec Aces (QSHL / AHL) (1950–1971)|
Quebec Nordiques (WHA / NHL) (1972–1995)
Quebec Rafales (IHL) (1996–1998)
Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) (1969–1985, 1999-2015)
Quebec Radio X (LNAH) (2003–2008)
Quebec Citadelles (AHL) (1999–2002)
The barrel vault arena was originally built in 1949, seating 10,034, to replace a building on the same site that had burned down a year earlier. Built by architects Rinfret and Bouchard with directions from Robert Blatter and F. Caron, the arena was a mix of International Style exterior and Art Deco interior. It was known as "The House that Béliveau Built", as it was often filled to capacity in its earlier years to watch Jean Béliveau star for the Quebec Aces before moving to the NHL and the Montreal Canadiens. Two decades later, sellout crowds came to see Guy Lafleur as a member of the Quebec Remparts before, he too, would join the Canadiens.
The colisée served as the host facility of the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament from 1960 to 2015, after the tournament originated at the Quebec Arena in Parc Victoria. It was promoted by Gérard Bolduc and Paul Dumont, who also had connections to the Quebec Remparts.
Le Colisée underwent major renovations in 1980. The old entrance was taken down and replaced with a massive glass facade, and the seating capacity was increased to 15,750 to meet NHL standards of that era after the Nordiques made the jump from the WHA to the NHL. PepsiCo bought the naming rights on November 18, 1999, and its final capacity was 15,176. Coincidentally, the former Quebec Nordiques, now known as the Colorado Avalanche, currently play at Pepsi Center in Denver.
The arena hosted the 1971 Memorial Cup championship series, in which the Remparts defeated the Edmonton Oil Kings two games to none. Since the championship switched to a tournament format, the Coliseum has hosted it in 1991 and 2003 & 2015. Internationally, the first game of the 1974 Summit Series between Canadian WHA all-stars and the Soviet national team was played at the Coliseum, as were one game in each of the 1976 and 1991 Canada Cups. The arena co-hosted the 1978 IIHF World U20 Championship with Montreal and also co-hosted, along with Halifax, the 2008 IIHF World Championships. Rendez-vous '87, a two-game series between the NHL All-Stars and the Soviet national team, was another highlight in the building's history. Colisée Pepsi has also hosted many big concerts.
Quebec City has entertained several proposals in recent years to return NHL ice hockey to the city; prior to the completion of Centre Vidéotron most of these proposals envisioned using the Colisée as a temporary home while the new arena was built next to the existing facility. On October 10, 2009 Quebec city newspapers such as Le Soleil reported that negotiations were held between the city and the NHL concerning the possibility and pertinence of relocating or creating an NHL franchise into the city.
Former Nordiques owner and Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut originally said that there were no plans to demolish the Colisée Pepsi even if a new arena was built. Aubut mentioned a prospective future Winter Olympics bid among other justifications for maintaining the existing arena. As part of the agreement constructing the new arena, an additional C$7 million was set aside for renovating the Colisée, should the city have landed a potential National Hockey League expansion franchise before the new arena was completed in 2015. The New Centre Vidéotron was opened on September 8, 2015. After a Metallica concert on September 14, 2015 (the band would play at the Centre Vidéotron two days later), the Colisée was closed to the public, with minimal operations and maintenance since. There is no timetable for the building's demolition.
The seating capacity for hockey has gone as followed:
- "Histoire et Sociiété: Le Colisée de Québec, 1949 à aujourd'hui". Histoire et Sociiété. October 9, 2010. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Halpin, Charlie (December 13, 1949). "New $3,000,000 Quebec Coliseum to Be Opened on Thursday Night". Montreal Gazette. p. 16. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Canadian inflation numbers based on Statistics Canada. "Consumer Price Index, historical summary". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 26, 2018. CANSIM, table (for fee) 326-0021 and Catalogue nos. 62-001-X, 62-010-X and 62-557-X. And "Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly) (Canada)". Statistics Canada. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
- LaFerrière, Michèle (January 11, 2008). "La Révolution Blatter". La Presse. Montreal. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
- Kevin McGran (May 29, 2015). "Demise of Colisee signals the end of an era". The Star. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
- "Ce cher bon vieux Colisée". May 18, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
- "Tournoi international de hockey pee-wee - Unique et mystique". Canoe Sports (in French). 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- "Gérard Bolduc". Réseau des Sports. 2002-05-03. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
- Brunt, Stephen (February 8, 2012). "Quebec Ready for Nordiques Return". Sportsnet. Archived from the original on February 10, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- White, Marianne (March 26, 2012). "New Quebec City Arena Gets the Green Light". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved November 21, 2018 – via PressReader.
- Cloutier, Patricia (September 13, 2015). "Après Metallica, le Colisée Pepsi entre en dormance". Le Soleil (in French). Retrieved November 21, 2018.
- McCarthy, Gary (February 7, 1970). "Quebec Peewee Hockey 'Dream' Now Reality". Montreal Gazette. p. 13.
- "Soviets Beat Quebec". Regina Leader-Post. Regina: The Canadian Press. December 8, 1973. p. 23.
- "Expansion, Merger, Accommodation–Whatever". Calgary Herald. The Canadian Press. June 25, 1977. p. 41.
- Wevurski, Pete (November 24, 1981). "Dion Has a Special Goal in Return to Quebec". Pittsburgh Press. p. C–4.
- "If You Want to Rendez-vous, You'd Better Have a Ticket". Montreal Gazette. The Canadian Press. December 11, 1986. p. D–3.
- Lapointe, Joe (February 26, 1995). "On Pro Hockey; In Quebec, Sale Rumors and an Arena Agenda". The New York Times. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
- Hickey, Pat (January 4, 2012). "Canadian Teams Rake in Cash". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on February 6, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2013.