Montreal Rocket

Arena Name: Aréna Maurice Richard
Capacity: 3,500
Built: 1962
Address: 2800 rue Viau, Montreal, QC, H1V 3J3
Last Game: 2001
Ice Surface Size: Regulation
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Maurice Richard Arena
Maurice Richard Arena
What was the Arena Like?
In the heart of the Olympic Village in East Montreal lies Maurice Richard Arena, a small, circular building located just down the street from Olympic Stadium. Built in 1962, the arena is a circle of yellow and white concrete with doors on each side of the building. A statue of the eponymous hockey star sits in front of the building on rue Viau, complementing it perfectly.

Once inside, the four spokes of the arena lead from the doors directly onto the arena floor. There is a small "moat" extending all the way around the ice surface, with the seating level set a few feet back from the ice. From the floor, there is no way into the seats - you have to make your way back down the spokes and up the stairs. Once up top, there is a circular concourse extending in another perfect circle around the building, and a small ring of red seats around the ice. On the sides, a level of white and blue seats extend back circularly towards the roof. The building's only scoreclock is in the end, attached to the wall. Finally, high above the ice is a dome-like roof reminiscent of the Igloo in Pittsburgh. It's painted a dark midnight blue, which gives the impression that the rink might well have been a planetarium in a previous life.

In spite of its age, Maurice Richard Arena has only been used by the Q for almost three total seasons - part of 1978-79 by the Montreal Juniors (who also played at Arena Paul Sauvé and the Forum that year), and the first two years of the Montreal Rocket before they moved to the Bell Centre. The building has a lot going for it, being located right on a transit stop in the heart of the city, but with a low capacity and no luxury suites it would be difficult to conceive of it ever hosting the Q on a long-term basis.
Inside the Maurice Richard Arena
Maurice Richard Arena
How To Get There
From A-25: Exit at Sherbrooke St. and proceed west to rue Viau (you'll see the Olympic Stadium tower looming). Turn left. The arena will be on your right.
From A-40: Exit at Viau and proceed south. The arena will be on your right.
Métro: Viau stop.
What's it Used For Today?
Maurice Richard Arena was first used by the QMJHL for the 1978-79 season, when low attendance meant that the Montreal Juniors moved out of the Montreal Forum. The next season, though, they moved on again to Paul Sauv Arena and Maurice Richard was unused by the league again until the Montreal Rocket came to town. The Rocket played at Maurice Richard for their first two seasons before the team moved into the Bell Centre permanently, and ultimately to Charlottetown. Today, the rink hosts Canada's national speed skating team, rec and figure skating, and minor hockey. The Maurice Richard Arena also hosted boxing and wrestling during the 1976 Summer Olympics.
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at email and I'll update the guide.



Copyright Kevin Jordan 2002-07.
All rights reserved.
Last Revised: September 14, 2007