Some Big names performed at the Central arena that turned 50 this year.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 28th, 2018



Central Arena is now 50 years old.

The milestone was marked by a Tim Horton’s Free Holiday Skate , speeches, the sharing of a cake and getting your picture taken on a Zamboni.

Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot gave the first concert performed at the Central arena.

The first official concert at Central Arena had Gordon Lightfoot; the last large concert performed was the Ramones in the 80’s

• Finland, Russia, Czech Republic and Sweden minor leagues teams played at the Golden Horseshoe and Friendship Games at Central Arena

• Original staff consisted of five full-time Operations staff. Wages were approximately $1.75 per hour

• Part time wages were $2 per hour in 1972

Whipper Billy_Watson

Wrestler Whipper Billy Watson; in his day one of the greats!

• Wrestlers Whipper Billy Watson, Dewey Robertson, the Love Brothers and Haystack Calhoun performed at Central Arena

• Famous figure skaters who performed at Central Arena include Don Jackson, Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz, Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler, Brian Orser, Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini, Gary Beacom, Toller Cranston, Marie-France Dubreiul and Patrice Lauzon


Wayne Gretzky, packed Central Arena in 1970 – something he did throughout his career,

• The most spectators in attendance at Central Arena was in 1970. It was standing room only for 2300 spectators who came to watch nine-year-old Wayne Gretzky, playing for Brantford, in the Golden Horseshoe Hockey Tournament.

• It was not uncommon for the hockey teams to skate around the rink to clear up the fog, before starting their game. Today, there are large dehumidification units and better insulation in our arenas to minimize fog and condensation.

The question that popped into our minds was: Why did the city stop putting on concerts at the arena?

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