|The ACC, The Hangar|
|Location||40 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2X2|
|Broke ground||March 12, 1997|
|Opened||February 19, 1999|
|Owner||Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment|
|Construction cost||$265 million|
|Architect||Brisbin Brook Beynon, Architect|
Ice hockey: 18,819
|Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) (1999-present)|
Toronto Raptors (National Basketball Association) (1999-present)
Toronto Rock (National Lacrosse League) (2001-present)
Toronto Phantoms (Arena Football League) (2001-2002)
The Air Canada Centre (ACC) is a multi-purpose arena located on Bay Street in downtown Toronto, Ontario. It is the home of the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association, the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League, and the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League. It was also home to the Toronto Phantoms of the Arena Football League during their brief existence. The arena is popularly known as "the ACC" or "the Hangar" (the latter nickname coming from its Naming rights by Canada's largest airline, Air Canada). The Air Canada Centre is the eleventh busiest arena in the world.
From its initial design to completion it revolutionized many concepts now included in new arenas and stadiums such as luxury suites accessible on the ground floor, splitting the main scoreboard into several sections, rotating all sponsor signage in the bowl at once (to allow dominant messaging), and multiple restaurants in and out of the main arena bowl view.
The arena is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., the same group that owns both the Leafs and Raptors, and is 665,000 square feet (62,000 m²) in size. Air Canada Centre is connected to Union Station and the underground pedestrian PATH system, providing easy access to public transportation (Toronto Transit Commission's Union subway station and GO Transit) for fans attending events. There are also 13,000 parking spaces within immediate walking distance.
The Air Canada Centre was started by the Toronto Raptors under its initial ownership group headed by Canadian businessman John Bitove. The groundbreaking was performed in March 1997.
The site was once occupied by the Canada Post Delivery Building. The current building retains the striking Art Deco façades of the east (along Bay Street) and south (Lake Shore Boulevard) walls of that structure, but the rest of the building (facing Union Station) was removed to make room for the arena, through the process of facadism.
The 15-storey tower on Bay Street stands at 55 metres and provides connections in the atrium to Union Station, Bay Street, and York Street (via Bremner Boulevard).
Games and events
The first Maple Leafs home game took place on February 20, 1999 versus the Montreal Canadiens, won by the Leafs 3-2 on an overtime goal by Steve Thomas. The first Raptors game took place the following night versus the Vancouver Grizzlies. The Raptors won 102-87 in front of a sell-out crowd. The Tragically Hip performed the first concert at the venue the following night. The facility hosted the 2000 NHL All-Star Game and the championship game of the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.