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Old 07-17-2020, 11:27 AM   #21
Puppet Guy
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My first hockey game ever was at the Corral - Wranglers vs. Great Falls Americans 1979 or 1980). First NHL game was the Flames vs. North Stars, December 1981.
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Old 07-17-2020, 11:29 AM   #22
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Sad to see it go! I'm too young to have seen any games there, but I played a few beer league games.
I couldn't believe how high the boards were, or how hot it was ok the ice (with empty stands obviously); I can't imagine how hot it must have been with a full house!
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:16 PM   #23
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Always loved playing menís league with the Queen watching over us.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:20 PM   #24
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I have a great story that happened at the Corral on a cold New Years Eve many a year ago. No! I will not share it with you.

Gonna miss the old barn.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:50 PM   #25
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Cool video I found that goes into a little of the history of the Corral, and then some video of the last hockey game played at the Corral with the Hitmen wearing the Wranglers jerseys.


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Old 07-17-2020, 05:03 PM   #26
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Never saw the Flames there as I was 7 when the Flames stopped playing there. Did see a bunch of Wrangler games though around 1985 to 1987. Some chap won a Ford Tempo one of those games by firing the luck down the ice into the puck wide slot one game.

Last saw a game there in 1999 ish when the Hitmen had to play playoff games there because of Some scheduling issues. Was a lot more rocking then the video of the last game.

Played a few beer league games there. As mentioned, the board height and low glass height and bench configuration was unique. And the dressing rooms in the corners, with the low ceilings. Hard to believe an NHLPA would've approved that even back in those Eagleson days.

They should preserve as much as possible of some of the unique prices there. Iirc they didn't get hit as bad as the Dome in the flood. As well, make some historical note and reference of it in both the BMO center and the new rink. They should put those wood benches for sale, I am hoping to get our (at that point 21 year old (for us)) STH Dome seats when they rear that down.

Of course, years of Superdogs, circuses, carshows, the odd concert (Big Sugar, my brother saw Glass Tiger there). Recall it also hosted Davis Cup Tennis.
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Old 07-17-2020, 05:13 PM   #27
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Never saw the Flames there as I was 7 when the Flames stopped playing there. Did see a bunch of Wrangler games though around 1985 to 1987. Some chap won a Ford Tempo one of those games by firing the luck down the ice into the puck wide slot one game.
I was not that chap, but I've been in his shoes


also at a Wrangler game in 1987 or so, I (through having found Brian Bosch's autograph in my program or something like that) won the chance to shoot for a a Ford Tempo, exactly as you described. I had been a licensed driver for a few months at that point and nothing would have been cooler than a new Ford Tempo I did not score, but at least I hit the net!
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Old 07-17-2020, 06:28 PM   #28
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Fun rink. The height of the boards was so much higher and different than any other building.
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:27 PM   #29
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and the smaller dimensions too I think? I believe Boston, Buffalo and Calgary ( I believe those were the 3 rinks) were all slightly smaller than the others at one point?
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:41 PM   #30
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and the smaller dimensions too I think? I believe Boston, Buffalo and Calgary ( I believe those were the 3 rinks) were all slightly smaller than the others at one point?
Definitely smaller by I thought 10 to 15 feet in length and 5 or so feet wide.
Most of that length difference was in the neutral zone, and considering the 2 line pass rule was in obviously still in effect, it would be a nightmare to try and breakout with a pass.

And the corners seem almost squarish.
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Old 07-17-2020, 07:49 PM   #31
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and the smaller dimensions too I think? I believe Boston, Buffalo and Calgary ( I believe those were the 3 rinks) were all slightly smaller than the others at one point?
Boston and Buffalo were smaller (as was the Chicago Stadium), but I think the Corral was always 200x85.

It looks like the Stampede has already removed the Corral as a venue rental option on their website, but the archive site says it was 200x85: https://web.archive.org/web/20100711...de-corral.html


I believe the radius of the corners at the Corral was smaller than the NHL standard though.
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:06 PM   #32
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Forgot about the smoking... if I recall it was restricted to the concourse (which in a confined area only made it worse). Of course it was a different story for rock concerts... thick plumes of marijuana smoke wafted from the seats.

My parents used to take us to Centennial games in the Corral. Although Calgary had some pretty bad teams without any big names, I can remember watching a lot of future stars from other teams... Brian Sutter, Mel Bridgeman, Clark Gillies, Stan Smyl, etc....and the fights! It was like watching Slapshot every game!

If I remember correctly, you were allowed to smoke in your seats during intermission. When the puck was dropped, the smokes went out.
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:07 PM   #33
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...but I attended the Calgary Hitmen's first ever game which was in that barn....
The Hitmen played in the Saddledome right from the start. I had a suite for the first game. I number of the owners were in it.


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Old 07-17-2020, 08:23 PM   #34
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Easily my favourite rink to play beer league in, especially if you got the big dressing room with stalls.

If you got that small room though...
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Old 07-17-2020, 08:31 PM   #35
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Was there a reason why they made the original boards so high? Like, when they built it did they accidentally make them 6” taller and said **** it, just install ‘em?
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:27 PM   #36
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The Hitmen played in the Saddledome right from the start. I had a suite for the first game. I number of the owners were in it.


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Yeah, and they played the occasional game at the Corral that first year. Perhaps my then grade 7 brain is misremembering it as the first one (perhaps even the first exhibition game?), but I 100% saw the Hitmen play a game at the Corral that inaugural 1995-96 season.

I really want confirmation what game that actually was that year, as I've always remembered it that way, the internets haven't been much help thus far. Regardless, it was a good Corral memory.
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:54 PM   #37
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Yeah, and they played the occasional game at the Corral that first year. Perhaps my then grade 7 brain is misremembering it as the first one (perhaps even the first exhibition game?), but I 100% saw the Hitmen play a game at the Corral that inaugural 1995-96 season.

I really want confirmation what game that actually was that year, as I've always remembered it that way, the internets haven't been much help thus far. Regardless, it was a good Corral memory.
From Herald in October 6 1995, sounds like the Hitmen played their first 7 home games at the Corral because the Dome renos werenít done. It opened October 25.


After seven home games, the Hitmen join their landlords, the Flames, in a refurbished Saddledome. Across from the Corral sits the fancy joint Western Hockey League president Ed Chynoweth refers to as the Taj Mahal. Some Saddledome tickets cost the equivalent of a return flight on the Concorde. When the spiffy new 'Dome reopens for hockey Oct. 25, a scoreboard the size of a Corral dressing room will flash TV replays on vast screens. In a members-only club, soft-spoken servers in tuxes will offer diners the creations of a master chef. Pretty cool if you dwell in a stratospheric tax bracket. But the 6,500-seat Corral remains a fries-and-popcorn, y'all-come kind of spot, steeped in atmosphere and soul. A rink rat's paradise, not Caesar's Palace. No private concourse. No bowing concierge. (Sources insist a too-tough Stampede Board lease helped drive out the Corral's last tenants, the junior Wranglers, in 1987.) Ex-Flames goaltender Mike Vernon continued to rave about supportive Corral crowds during his Wrangler days long after he became an NHL star. His last time through town, Gordie Howe took an affectionate look at the old place, and reminisced about a Wilf Carter concert he saw there. Similar arenas opened across Western Canada Victoria, New Westminster, Kamloops, Saskatoon after the Second World War. But few wear their years so jauntily The Corral opened on Boxing Day, 1950, featuring an innovative, free-span design no pillars, terrific sightlines. Dominion Bridge fashioned a network of steel trusses under the barrel roof, which is still admired by connoisseurs of steelwork. "If they ever dropped an H-bomb on Calgary," said Corral superintendent Don Stewart, "there'd be two buildings standing. The (Stampede) agriculture building and the Corral."
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Old 07-17-2020, 09:59 PM   #38
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Thanks, that was driving me nuts searching! I'm guessing Cobra is thinking of the first Hitmen game AT the Saddledome...several games after I attended the actual first ever game, at the Corral. My mind ain't quite gone yet
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:14 PM   #39
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Was there a reason why they made the original boards so high? Like, when they built it did they accidentally make them 6” taller and said **** it, just install ‘em?
There weren't really any standards when it was built. It seemed every city's rink was unique in terms of dimensions. Boston Garden, Chicago Stadium, Buffalo's Memorial Auditorium.

I guess nobody thought it was worth the time and effort to organize standards and retrofitting was deemed an unnecessary expenditure. In most cases, municipalities owned the facilities.
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Old 07-17-2020, 10:22 PM   #40
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Covering a game at the Corral was a personal highlight.
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