Air Canada Centre Details
Air Canada Centre
Opening in 1999 with a game between the home team Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, Air Canada Centre (ACC) is one of Toronto's main sports arenas, serving both the NHL's Maple Leafs and the NBA's Toronto Raptors. Other teams that use the venue include the National Lacrosse League's Toronto Rock and the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. The Toronto Phantoms, an Arena Football League team, also played here during their brief run from 1999 to 2002.
In addition to sports, the arena hosts a wide variety of family shows, theatrical performances, musical guests, trade shows, conventions, and more. It's served upwards of 2,600 events during its lifetime. One unique feature commemorating a lot of this history is the Air Canada Centre ICONS program, a fixture in the venue dedicated to the amazing artists who have performed here. Among those honored are Bon Jovi -- for the most sold out shows -- Madonna, Russell Peters and The Tragically Hip (who played the first-ever concert at Air Canada Centre).
Built into the facade of the old Canada Post Delivery Building (and retaining the south and east walls), the entire complex covers 665,000 square feet and can seat up to 19,800 for basketball and concert events and 18,800 for hockey. Located in the South Core district of Toronto, Air Canada Centre is right downtown. It's close to the theatre districts, the CN tower, and major shopping areas in the newly revitalized Railway Lands East neighborhood. Since the arena's construction, this area has seen a lot of new development and is a great place to hang out before a game or show.
Right outside the arena, Maple Leaf Square -- opened in 2010 -- has itself become an entertainment destination. A huge screen broadcasts games from inside to the plaza and during playoff runs it's a popular place for fans to gather. For Raptors playoffs, it's known as "Jurassic Park" after the 1993 film.
What are the best places to sit at Air Canada Centre?
For hockey games, there are three main levels to the arena -- a 100, 200, and 300 level. The 200 level consists of suites and the Air Canada Club. Above the 300 level are smaller suite and premium seating sections numbered from 400 to 600. If you want to get a magnificent view of the action for a reasonable price, Sections 309 and 321 offer lower cost options at center ice that give you a good overhead view. For basketball, courtside seats are also available and offer an amazing Raptors experience. The lower numbered seats are closer to the home bench, but if you sit a little further away on Courtside South, you'll have a little clearer view of the action.
Air Canada Centre Tips and Tricks
Air Canada Centre is one of only two arenas in Canada to feature an in-house brewery on site. Rickards Brewhouse is a Canadian favorite and is worth visiting while you're there. There's nothing like great beer to go with world class hockey!
Another neat program to be aware of is the ACC Wine Program. With over 600 labels from all over the world, the selection is a little heavy on reds but features a vast range of delicious and unique varietals. All in all, Air Canada Centre is a wonderful place to get a drink.
Air Canada Centre Club Areas
Air Canada Centre has three main premium club areas with a few additional options for premium seating as well, including the Chairman's Suite, individual suites, and the invite-only Sher Club. Main club areas include the Platinum Club, the Air Canada Club, and the Hot Stove Club. Each features a different take on fine dining, with Hot Stove offering an intimate steakhouse feel, classic Canadian fare at the Air Canada Club, and unique modern dining in the Platinum Club.