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

Saanich teen earns $100,000 commerce scholarship to the University of Calgary

Matias Totz is graduating from St. Michaels University School

Traffic impacted on the Malahat near Goldstream Park

Reported crash in northbound lane of highway

Barbecue thief leaves hat behind at Victoria residence

Anyone who recognizes the hat is asked to call VicPD or Crime Stoppers

COVID-19: Saanich police respond to calls about skatepark gathering, group volleyball game

‘Some people are still not taking this seriously,’ officer says

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Most Read