St-Jean Lynx

Arena Name: Colisée Isabelle-Brasseur
Capacity: 2,751 (1,751 seated)
Built: 1980
Address: 965 rue Choquette, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC, J3A 1V6
Last Game: 1995
Ice Surface Size:
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Former Arena: Iberville Palladium

Colisée Isabelle-Brasseur
Colisee Isabelle-Brasseur
What was the Arena Like?
It is perhaps one of the great ironies of our country that hockey, one of the world's most masculine sports, usually shares venues with one of the most feminine sports in figure skating. Canada has sent figure skaters to the pinnacle of world achievement in the sport, and yet the arenas that house both sports, when named for a person, are almost always named for hockey players and personnel, if not political, military or business leaders. So I suppose that it's refreshing that the main arena in the military town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu is named for a figure skater. Locally-raised skater Isabelle Brasseur won bronze medals at two Olympic games along with her pairs partner Lloyd Eisler, and so why not name the city's main arena after her? It's a nice gesture that reminds us of that other sport with which hockey shares the winter season.

Colisée Isabelle-Brasseur stands in a suburban neighbourhood a few minutes from the highway, and is attached to a swimming pool and other municipal buildings. It's fairly unattractive from the outside, with dark brown brick and concrete being the main design features. A large marquee sign announces the building from the parking lot.

Once inside, you pass a huge portrait of Brasseur and Eisler on your way up the stairs into the main arena bowl. The arena is smallish and claustrophobic, with a very low ceiling reminiscent of the Oshawa Civic Auditorium, or its very close twin the Hamilton Mountain Arena. There is no centre scoreboard, and there is probably not room for one either. Seats are blue, orange and yellow, and with the structural steel in the ceiling also painted yellow, it's a colourful place. A top concourse stretches around the top of the building providing access to the seating areas.

While only built in 1980, the Colisée Isabelle-Brasseur is probably too small for the Q ever to return. Still, it's an interesting place, and is plenty big enough for the hockey that calls it home today, as well as the - lest we forget - figure skating.
How To Get There
From A-35: Exit #7, boul. du Seminaire, and proceed north. Turn left on ave. Pierre-Caisse, then make a right on rue Choquette. The arena will be on your right.
Inside the Colisée Isabelle-Brasseur
Colisee Isabelle Brasseur
What's it Used For Today?
Formerly known as the Colisée de St-Jean, the building was renamed for the hometown Olympic figure skater after the Q had already left town. To my knowledge, it is the only past or present CHL arena named for a woman. The QMJHL arrived in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu in 1982, when the original Sherbrooke Beavers arrived. They kept their original nickname, and were known as the St-Jean Castors (beavers) until 1989, when the name was changed to that favourite of the bilingually-inclined: the Lynx. Those Lynx lasted until 1995, when the team decamped to Rimouski, where they became today's Océanic. The St-Jean Castors also played one game across the river in 1984 at the Iberville Palladium.

The arena, small by today's Q standards but not yet thirty years old, is home to community events as well as the Saint-Jean Summum Chiefs of the LNAH.
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 2002-08.
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Last Revised: October 22, 2008