December 29, 2013

Windsor Arena Hosted Season of NHL Hockey

Did you know that the Windsor Arena (a.k.a. "The Barn") hosted a season of NHL action?

Way back in 1926 the Victoria Cougars relocated and joined the NHL as the Detroit Cougars. Eventually they would change their name to the now legendary Red Wings.

However Olympia Stadium was still under construction, forcing Detroit to find another arena to play in for their inaugural season. That is not so uncommon. What makes it unique is they actually played in another country!

Okay, so Windsor and Detroit are essentially the same place with the USA/Canada border crossing through the heart of it all. Detroit decided the Windsor arena, then named the Border Cities Arena, was the best option. The Arena was built a couple of years earlier in 1924 and was expanded from 6,000 seats to 9,000 seats for the Cougars games.

After a year the Cougars left, but the Windsor Arena remained busy. The OHL's Windsor Spitfires played here from 1975 to 2008. The University of Windsor Lancers played out of the old barn from 2009 to 2013.

The City has now retired the Arena as a sporting venue and turned it into the permanent home of the Windsor City Market

The Windsor Star shared some memories of the old arena, including these two fantastic photos:

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