New boards, glass at Save-On-Foods arena to up excitement for fans

Curved glass, soft caps on boards highlight upgrades at Victoria arena

Fans in the front row for Victoria Royals games this season may want to watch their drinks.

Upgrades at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre installed this summer will mean the boards and the glass shake with much more give when players collide into the boards.

“Everything moves,” said Trevor Foster, director of operations with the GSL Group, the operator of the arena. “Don’t put your beer along the boards. You’re going to lose it.”

The new boards at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will feature a soft cap along the top edge of the ice-surface side, and the new glass will feature curves where its edges meet the player benches. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)

The improvements, which were league mandated for all Western Hockey League teams ahead of the 2019-2020 season, are designed with both player and fan safety in mind. The new boards, for instance, include soft caps along the top edge of the ice-surface side, while the new glass — which is, in a technical sense, not glass but acrylic — will only crack, instead of shatter.

“The safety aspect is far beyond what the last set was, for sure,” Foster said.

The glass is also curved where its edges meet the player benches, which can prevent hits — recall the infamous Zdeno Chara hit on Max Pacioretty in a 2011 NHL game — in which a player is driven square into the shielding’s edges; the posts between the sheets of glass are no longer aluminum, but polycarbonate; and the boards are no longer anchored directly into concrete, but, rather, anchored into the ice dam, which provides more give.

“I think we’re going to see a lot more hitting from this, because it’s not going to hurt. They have a lot less chance of injury,” Foster said.

Curved glass where the shielding meets the player benches was one of several upgrades to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre’s boards and glass this summer. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)

Readying the arena for concerts and other events will also be easier, with the upgrades. The new glass, for instance, weighs much less.

“The glass is the biggest thing,” Foster said. “For example, the glass in the Zamboni bay used to weigh 350 pounds, 400 pounds. We needed six people to take that piece of glass out. Now, two people can put that in. It’s about 75 pounds.”

The changes also come just in time for the upcoming NHL pre-season game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames. The league wouldn’t host the event at the arena without the improvements, Foster said.

The cost of the upgrades, paid jointly by the arena operators and the city, out of a capital reserve fund, totalled $350,000, plus installation.

READ ALSO: Victoria Canucks game a sell-out, fans warned about fake tickets


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

George Jay parents tired of dog poop left on school’s fields

Parents advocate for stronger fines, more signage in the neighbourhood

Booms go up in Gorge Creek after hydrocarbon spill

The source of the spill is being investigated

Dog dies, Victoria man arrested after incident in Oaklands

Police called to ‘incident between a man and a dog’ Monday afternoon

Thief steals donation box, tip jar from Oak Bay businesses

Oak Bay Police Department looking for suspect

VIDEO: Greater Victoria mom shares ‘insane’ experience of viral dinosaur video

Tabitha Cooper filmed her costumed sons meeting their grandma at the Victoria International Airport

‘Epic sky palace’: B.C. businesses help create dream treehouse for boy recovering from cancer

‘It was kind of a bright shining beacon at the end of a horrible, dark tunnel’

B.C. teacher suspended for poking student in stomach, pulling another’s ponytail

Teacher also swore in classroom, used Facebook to contact students

Larry Walker Jr. and Sr. keeping expectations low for hall-of-fame induction

Walker needs 75 percent of votes in order to be inducted into Cooperstown

Gene Simmons to launch new Titans of Rock music festival in Grand Forks

The rock legend has partnered with Chuck Varabioff to run Titans of Rock in Grand Forks

VIDEO: 17 Husky pups rescued from Interior B.C. property find new homes

The BC SPCA caught the moment on video the last puppy, Uki, met his owners

U.S. officials confirm first case of Wuhan coronavirus near Seattle

The U.S. is the fifth country to report seeing the illness

Police recover body of Tofino man near Hot Springs Cove

An RCMP dive team has recovered the body of a Tofino man in his 50s.

Skier dies at Fernie Alpine Resort

It’s the second person to die in a tree well at a ski resort in B.C. in the past week.

Most Read