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Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Portland, OR

Home of the Portland Winterhawks

3.6

3.6

Veterans Memorial Coliseum (map it)
300 North Winning Street
Portland, OR 97227


Portland Winterhawks website

Veterans Memorial Coliseum website

Year Opened: 1960

Capacity: 10,407

There are no tickets available at this time.

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The Veteran

The Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum is home to the Portland Winterhawks, who are members of the Western Hockey League. Originally, the arena was known as Memorial Coliseum and was the original home of the Portland Trailblazers. It sits 10,407 fans, but can be configured for other events like tennis and BMX.

The Coliseum is a part of The National Register of Historic Places because of its architecture and beautifully stained glass that covers the building top to bottom. The Winterhawks play in a decent arena to go along with their solid record over the last few years.

3.6

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    2

The arena has unlimited popcorn buckets for sale at $10.50, which can be nice for families and dates. I suggest eating before the game as some of the pricing of the food can be quite expensive. The Coliseum offers a variety of food and entrees. While the BBQ nachos and other dishes look appetizing, they can be pretty expensive. Average meals are at least $10 and quite frankly, no hot dog and souvenir cup is worth $18.00. There are many choices of beer from local to domestic and a beer garden in the arena to hang out in. Stadium prices range on beer from $8-$10. Make sure to head out before halftime as many of the lines were horrendous.

Atmosphere    2

At first glance when looking at the specs of the stadium, one wonders why this building hasn't been demolished. Old lighting, small scoreboard and a certain smell. For older Blazer fans there is some nostalgia brought back as pictures of Blazer players and coaches hang around the stadium above the walkways.

For being an old building the old leather seats are comfortable, but the leg room is horrible. If you're over six feet tall, the seats can feel cramped. Make sure to hold on to your drinks; there are no cup holders and little room on the ground. The best seats are behind the goalie. It puts you a little over eye level with the players on the ice. You are able to see the lanes and plays happen a lot easier. The next best seat, if those are not available, would be center ice about 15 rows up from the ice.

Even with the oldness of the building, the fans and the personality of the team make the Memorial Coliseum a great atmosphere for a hockey game.

Neighborhood    4

The Memorial Coliseum is in the Lloyd District in Northeast Portland located about 10 minutes from downtown Portland. Portland is known for its famous food carts that sit at 5th and Oak. The City of Portland has been in discussions over the past couple years regarding the future of the arena. Some original plans were to tear it down. As of recently, the plans are to renovate the Coliseum. Those plans are set for the summer of 2014, but the scheduling has changed many times and Portlanders are hoping this is the last date announced for renovation.

Fans    5

Looking around at how jam packed the place is, the size and loudness of the crowd really makes you forget you're at a major junior hockey game. Talking with a lot of spectators around the arena it seems most fans are season ticket holders and have been following the Winterhawks since they came to Portland in 1976.

The crowd knowledge is wonderful, no boos or yelling at refs when the correct call is made. This makes a great crowd for children of all ages. The fans at the Memorial Coliseum are also known for the thousands of teddy bears they toss after the first goal is scored. One game in the season is dedicated to dousing the ice with plush animals for donations.

Access    4

The Memorial provides many ways to get to the game. The arena has its own exits located off of the I5 and I84 highways and also has its own light rail stops located south and west of the arena. Getting to the arena is half the fun with all the options.

Because of the arenas location to the Lloyd District, you can find metered parking or various paid parking lots. All are within walking distance to the Coliseum. The price of an all ticket for the light rail which is called "MAX" is $5. That can be a cheaper route than the parking garages used for the games. Others are known to park at the Lloyd Center, a nearby mall, for free and walk in order to bypass extra expenses of parking and all of the traffic after the game. Driving to the arena can be difficult with one way streets and a bridge and a bus/light rail transit center that sit just outside the arena. There has also been city plans to update the Lloyd District and specifically make the street access to and from the Memorial Coliseum a lot better.

Return on Investment    4

The average price of a ticket plus the atmosphere the fans bring, makes this one of the top arenas to watch a hockey game. The Winterhawks always put on a good show. With plans to renovate the arena next summer (summer of 2014) it is sounding like next season (2013-2014) will be the last for the Winterhawks in the Memorial Coliseum for a while.

Extras    4

Game worn memorabilia is sold throughout the game, everything from pucks to jersey and sticks. There is also a Winterhawks store, which had a great selection and a huge clearance section in case you forgot your gear.

The Winterhawks also have afternoon games where they draw back the huge black curtains that cover the glass to the building.

Around the pillars of the building are signed posters of musicians and other famous artists that have played in the past at the arena.

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-- OR --

Crowd Reviews

Hockey in Portland is happening!

Total Score: 3.57

  • Food & Beverage: 3
  • Atmosphere 3
  • Neighborhood: 5
  • Fans: 3
  • Access: 4
  • RoI: 4
  • Extras: 3

The Portland Winterhawks have a nice thing going. On a night when the Trailblazers were hosting the Miami Heat right next door, there were 8062 fans in the Memorial Coliseum to watch the Winterhawks.

This isn't a super high level of hockey, so the players give their all and the fans appreciate the effort. The fans weren't super invested in the outcome-they were just there to enjoy themselves.

The venue is in Portland, Oregon. 'Nough said. It is simply one of the most awesome cities anywhere. So much to do and see. I love Portland.

The Winterhawks play most of their games in the Moda Center (aka Rose Garden) next door. But the Memorial Auditorium is more appropriately sized and wonderfully retro.

It's easy to get to via I-84 or I-5, but the best way to get to either the Moda Center or Memorial Coliseum is via public transit. Especially the MAX light rail. Just be warned that if the the Winterhawks are playing on the same night as the Trial Blazers there will be congestion getting out. Take your time and be patient.

The Memorial Coliseum is wonderfully retro. It feels like a 60's-70's time warp going into the buildings. Don't focus on what's missing-like hand rails on the stairs and cup holders on the seats. Just appreciate that this arena is a living museum on how things were done. Appreciate it for what it is, and where we've gone since then. It's a lot of fun!

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