Montreal Canadiens announce completion of construction of new Bell Centre
Habs fans have been dealing with mixed emotions ever since it was announced a few years ago that the Montreal Forum would eventually no longer be the home of the Habs. This summer, in conjunction with the franchise move that brought the former Calgary Flames franchise to town in the purchase/exchange made by the Panunto family, the new owners also bought the new building/construction in progress.
Today, that building was completed, with 22,000 seats ready to be filled by fans from across Quebec. Accompanying the owners were executives from Bell Canada, who just purchased a 20-year naming lease on the new building which will be opening its doors for the upcoming 1994 season.
“The Montreal Forum will forever be where legends were made, cups were won, and most importantly memories were forged in the minds of fans all across Montreal, Quebec and Canada. But now a new era is open us, one of modernity, class, and hopefully a future dynasty”
The new Bell Centre is a slated for some further work next year in the offseason with an additional 1,000 seats expected to make it one of the few rare arenas with 23,000 seats.
The Bell Centre is situated in downtown Montreal near the old CP Rail owned Windsor train station. Ironically, CP Rail Arena is where the current Habs roster played last season in Calgary. The Panunto clan has many ties to CP Rail with many family members having worked for CP Rail or affiliates over the years.
The Montreal Canadiens are expected to make a further announcement tomorrow regarding the status of its NMFHL affiliate that was currently playing in Mississauga.
-The Montreal Gazette