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Old 03-23-2014, 11:41 PM   #281
markhb
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

The top corner one actually isn't that bad... it's the 3rd Floor suite (in the middle) that really has the issue.

For the record, the floors are numbered thusly in the main elevator (near Section G, Spring St. side):

4: Top suite level
3: Second suite level, has a direct exit to the stands in Section H
2: Main concourse level
1: Arena floor level

I believe floors 1 and 2 are similarly labeled in the elevator at the Center St. entrance.

Two nitpicks: the elevator at the Free St. entrance is labeled for floors 1, 2 and 3, but they correspond to levels 2, 3 and 4 as they are in the other two entrances. And, the elevator buttons have explanatory labels made from crappy label tape... way too ugly for all this new construction.

And, an ephemeral and even less consequential nitpick: the Cross Insurance Center gave away far better food at their open house than the Civic Center. They limited it with tickets (4 or 5 to a person and you had to use one if you wanted a soda), but they had some of their vendors giving out potato skins, poutine and mini lobster rolls!

Also, I confirmed with one of the ushers that the escalator will be reversed after the intermission (presumably the 2nd Intermission for hockey), so that's a plus.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:59 AM   #282
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

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Very nice but that top corner "suite" is ridiculous (not in a good way). I can't believe that those supports impede the view so much. The lower ones are nice though.
I had the same impression with the top suites. Why bother if you are going to have that much of an obstruction. Some viewing points from the top suite are fine (towards the outside edge of the suite).
Overall, I was fairly impressed with what they did with the Civic Center. The mid level suite and lower suite are very nice.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:51 AM   #283
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

I actually liked the vantage point from the top suites. Not the best for watching hockey but I think it will be great for concerts.
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:47 PM   #284
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Cumberland County Civic Center changes name to Cross Insurance Arena.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:59 PM   #285
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

No confusion with Bangor's new arena in this scenario, along with the Clark Insurance entrance? Oh well, it's 2.5 million dollars the building and taxpayers can surely use for maintenance and future upgrades.
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:38 AM   #286
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

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No confusion with Bangor's new arena in this scenario, along with the Clark Insurance entrance? Oh well, it's 2.5 million dollars the building and taxpayers can surely use for maintenance and future upgrades.
No fault of Cross Insurance (they paid the big bucks) or the CCCC (they can't be expected to turn down a $2.5 sponsorship).......but man, this is really unfortunate and confusing. My biggest gripe/disappointment is that no other Portland/Maine corporation was willing to pony up. I think that LL Bean really missed the boat here as did numerous others. Oh well.......
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:28 AM   #287
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

What are the thoughts about this:

Portland blindsided by Pirates’ plan to leave for Springfield after 23 seasons in Maine

Obviously the sale seems a little on the unsavory side. Portland is a good minor league hockey town. A buddy of mine is a coach for the Marlies and I've traveled to a number of AHL towns to visit with him. Portland's not one of the worst towns as far as support (even if attendance numbers have been low in recent years) and it's certainly better than Springfield (which had the lowest attendance). Springfield has a bigger and newer arena. I'm sure the offer was pretty good and this is clearly just about money, but I can't see the vacancy in Portland lasting too long. There are worse AHL markets out there. This is Seattle losing the Sonics, not Atlanta losing the Thrashers.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:22 PM   #288
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

The MassMutual Center in Springfield is older than the Cross Insurance Center, it opened in 1972 and the Cross opened in 1977. It's renovation was completed in 2005, the Cross was completed in 2014.

Seating capacities are almost identical, with both venues seating around 6700 for hockey and a little over 8000 for concerts. The big plus for the Springfield arena is that the city's convention center is attached (similar to Bangor's arena) which pushed the renovation costs a decade ago to over $70 million. Portland still does not have dedicated convention space that is not privately owned (Holiday Inn, Westin, etc).

The MGM Grand is developing a large casino/hotel complex in downtown Springfield which should give the city a huge economic boost and may help recent poor attendance numbers for the new hockey team.

As far as Portland goes, I anticipate another AHL team may come calling in the future at the cost of another city. If not, we may land an ECHL franchise like Manchester did after it's AHL team headed west. We survived the year the Pirates played in Lewiston during renovations and we'll be just fine until we find a new tenant. I personally would like to see the Maine Red Claws play some dates in the Cross Arena but they seem to love the intimate size of the 3000 seat Exposition Building.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:20 PM   #289
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

It probably also didn't hurt that the AHL is headquartered in Springfield.

If Quebec City gets an expansion NHL team, then I think Portland might get a crack at the corresponding expansion AHL team. It would seem a good fit.
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:12 PM   #290
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Obviously whoever wrote the article doesn't understand the history here. How is "I told you so" being blindsided? The Pirates have been in negotiations with the trustees for a long time about the state of the arena and its impact on their program. After two decades, the response was to put lipstick on a pig, and then scale it back to lip gloss. I will remind people that at one time free land and $20M was offered to the County/City to build a new arena in Bayside...and the answer was no. Later, a $250M project was proposed for a vacant parking lot with a new arena (10,000 seats) and attached convention center...answer was still no. This is the only logical result of the County's shortsightedness and it's pathetic to call it being blindsided by the Pirates. C'mon...
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:13 PM   #291
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Portland still has two of the most coveted minor league franchises that any of the second tier New England cities would love to have. The Portland Sea Dogs are the Red Sox AA team and the Maine Red Claws are the Celtics D League team, we're going to be just fine. Good luck to Springfield, don't forget that is more than twice the size of Portland (154,000 versus 70,000).
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:30 PM   #292
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Dr. Strangehat, I hope you're vision is correct for Quebec, that would be a perfect marriage for Portland's bid for another AHL team. I also think it would rejuvenate the local fan base due to the close proximity. Also would not be surprised to see the St John's Ice Caps move out of Newfoundland due to the distance in the future. Binghamton (4700 seats) and Utica (3900 seats) are also candidates, they both play in outdated and much smaller venues than Portland.

Last edited by Portlander; 05-09-2016 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:25 PM   #293
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

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Also would not be surprised to see the St John's Ice Caps move out of Newfoundland due to the distance in the future.
They're already moving this offseason to a suburb of Montreal (they're affiliated with the Canadiens). They were effectively on a one-year lease in St. John's after the previous team moved to Manitoba.

Binghamton benefits from their proximity to that parent team (Ottawa), and my guess is that Utica moves west like many other AHL teams with western NHL parent clubs have already done.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:40 AM   #294
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

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The MassMutual Center in Springfield is older than the Cross Insurance Center, it opened in 1972 and the Cross opened in 1977. It's renovation was completed in 2005, the Cross was completed in 2014.

Seating capacities are almost identical, with both venues seating around 6700 for hockey and a little over 8000 for concerts. The big plus for the Springfield arena is that the city's convention center is attached (similar to Bangor's arena) which pushed the renovation costs a decade ago to over $70 million. Portland still does not have dedicated convention space that is not privately owned (Holiday Inn, Westin, etc).

The MGM Grand is developing a large casino/hotel complex in downtown Springfield which should give the city a huge economic boost and may help recent poor attendance numbers for the new hockey team.

As far as Portland goes, I anticipate another AHL team may come calling in the future at the cost of another city. If not, we may land an ECHL franchise like Manchester did after it's AHL team headed west. We survived the year the Pirates played in Lewiston during renovations and we'll be just fine until we find a new tenant. I personally would like to see the Maine Red Claws play some dates in the Cross Arena but they seem to love the intimate size of the 3000 seat Exposition Building.
Interesting. To be fair, I haven't been to the renovated Arena in Portland, so I don't know what it looks like. MassMutual looks newer to me (at least pre-Portland renovation) inside and out. The layout felt better too. It's probably different now though. Capacities are close enough to be negligible.

I don't know how much difference the casino will make. I just can't imagine that many casino goers making a point to go to an AHL game unless they have a vested interest. Most people who go to games go because it's a good family outing (casino patrons won't fall in this category) that's cheaper than the NHL, or because they have a vested interest in hockey (in which case the casino will likely have no impact). The only thing I can see happening that might noticeably impact attendance is the casino becoming a sponsor and giving away free tickets by the bucket full. Some people may walk the few blocks to the MassMutual Center if they have free tickets. Concessions spending can boost the team even if they're not actually "selling" a ton of tickets.

In any case, I just don't see Springfield doing that well with a team. It may be bigger than Portland, but the demographics are different and it's really just not a hockey town.

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They're already moving this offseason to a suburb of Montreal (they're affiliated with the Canadiens). They were effectively on a one-year lease in St. John's after the previous team moved to Manitoba.
Interesting. I actually went to an Ice Caps game with my friend who works for the Marlies as he said it was the best AHL experience there is. It was awesome. The places was packed and it had an electric atmosphere. St. John's is an awesome town too. It's the best time at an AHL game I've had. The distance has got to be the big issue there which is too bad because it's a great place to see a game.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:14 PM   #295
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

New foundland is a great part of Canada...even though they call it "the West Virginia of Canada".... But they are salt of the earth fun loving people from what I have seen. My wife is part Newfie.
As far the Cross Insurance Arena being home to the Nordiques farm team I think it would come down to Manchester and Portland. I am also surprised they never installed a new scoreboard over center ice as part of the renovations.
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Old 05-10-2016, 03:12 PM   #296
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

^I can't imagine Portland losing out to Manchester on that front. Portland did so much better in terms of attendance. I think the ownership group was the problem recently, not the city's ability to support a franchise.
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Old 05-10-2016, 07:05 PM   #297
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Lrfox, the renovated Cross Arena has stepped up a few levels in class and efficiency. If I had to give it a 1-10 score on the overall look and feel compared to other similar sized arenas I would now give it a 7.5 where prior to the overhaul I would have given it a weak 4. I would give Bangor's new arena an 8.5 score, lack of ice is it's only weakness.

Some of the improvements are behind the scenes such as new locker rooms, staging, catering and additional loading docks which are vital to touring acts. So overall, not too bad and still a respectable facility for a city of 70,000.
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Old 05-11-2016, 09:54 AM   #298
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Re: Portland - Civic Center

Well, that was quick!

http://www.pressherald.com/2016/05/1...tland-in-2017/
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