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  • Writer's pictureDave Cottenie

Scotiabank Rink at Iroquois Park Sports Centre - Whitby Warriors

Photos by Dave Cottenie, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.14

Scotiabank Rink @ Iroquois Park Sports Centre

500 Victoria St. W.

Whitby, ON L1N 9G4

Year Opened: 1974

Capacity: 2,500


The Warrior Way

One of the lacrosse hotbeds in Canada can be found in Whitby, Ontario.  Colloquially known as the ‘Town’ of Whitby, with a population of over 135,000 and located along Highway 401, Whitby lives in the shadow of the giant metropolis of Toronto to the west and the automotive hub of Oshawa to the east.  Organized lacrosse dates back to the sixties and Whitby currently fields teams at the Junior A (OJLL), Junior C and Senior A (MSL) levels.  The Junior A Whitby Warriors were established in 1968 as the Whitby B&R Transporters at the Junior B level.  In 1975, they advanced to the Junior A level as the Whitby Consolidated Builders and were renamed the Whitby Warriors in 1984.  The Warriors boast the third most Minto Cup Championships as Junior A lacrosse National Champions with eight and ten Iroquois Trophy Championships as Ontario Champions.  Some of the Warrior alumni include NLL players Mark Matthews, Chris Corbeil, Zach Greer, Dan Ladoceur and Gavin Prout.  Former NHL players Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk also suited up for the Warriors.

Home for the Warriors is the Scotiabank Rink in the Iroquois Park Sports Centre.  Part of a massive sports complex, both indoor and outdoor, what is now the Scotiabank Rink was the original building which opened in 1974.  The rink is a classic, old school arena which has ice in the winter for hockey and is the home of box lacrosse in the summer months. 

Food & Beverage 3

The Iroquois Park Sports Centre has one main concession, which supports the multiple indoor facilities which are currently part of the park.  The concession is a typical snack bar type facility which offers a number of typical offerings.  Hot dogs, burgers, fries and poutine, cotton candy, popcorn and chips are all on the menu.  Soda, water, juice, coffee, tea and slushies are the beverage options.  Pepsi products are featured and alcohol is not available.

Atmosphere 3

Iroquois Park is a massive sports facility that includes baseball diamonds, football and soccer fields, a pool, fitness centre and multiple arenas.  The Iroquois Park Sports Centre refers to the complex that houses the arenas and other indoor facilities, where the main arena built in 1974 was built around.  Grey brick with red siding accents produce the look of the main rink exterior, however, plenty of glass can be found at the entrances and newer areas of the building.  The entry to the Iroquois Park Sports Centre is at the east side and brings fans into a large atrium that links the various parts of the Sports Centre.  The atrium has a number of trophy cases dedicated to a number of clubs and sports, including the Warriors.  The atrium also links to the Whitby Sports Hall of Fame which is surprisingly strong and features a number of items that treasure hunters will enjoy.  Some members of the hall include lacrosse royalty Gavin Prout and Dan Ladoceur, OHL and CHL commissioner David Branch and NHL legends Joe Nieuwendyk and Adam Foote. 

The main arena, which is also the original arena, is named the Scotiabank Rink.  Just outside the arena is a team picture and dedicated plaque to the 1958 Whitby Dunlops hockey team that featured Harry Sinden and went to the Olympics.  Inside the Scotiabank Rink the clock immediately turns back and fans are met with the bones of an old school hockey barn that has been upgraded to modern standards.  The Scotiabank Rink  has ice and is used for hockey in the winter months and as a result has a concrete floor playing surface.  The floor runs from west to east and with no logo at the centre of the floor, either the north or south side offers pretty much the same view.  Upgrades are obvious, especially when it comes to the seats, which are modern plastic arena seats on the north and south sides.  There are no seats on the ends.  The east side of the arena is reserved for lacrosse accolades and includes banners from the Senior A (Major Series Lacrosse) Brooklin Lacrosse Club, formerly known as the Redmen.  Minto Cup banners for the 1980, 1984, 1985, 1997, 1999, 2011, and 2013 Warrior teams hang proudly against the wall.  The most recent addition, the 2022 Minto Cup Championship hangs on the protective netting at the end.

The gameday production at a Warriors game is very simple.  Warm-ups featured no music and there was no music during the game.  Basically, the only aspects of gameday production included the 50/50 draw and goal and penalty announcements.  If today’s sports are over-produced, the Warriors experience is underproduced.

Neighbourhood 3

Iroquois Park is in the Port Whitby neighbourhood, which is south of Downtown.  There are a few spots one might consider for pre or post game food or drinks.  On the Iroquois Park site is BarDown Gastropub.  Other options include the Lake Grill and Town Brewery.

For other sporting options, fans could consider the Whitby Warriors Jr. C lacrosse team or Major Series Lacrosse’s Brooklin Lacrosse Club.  The Oshawa Generals of the OHL and Ontario Tech Ridgebacks hockey and basketball are not far away. All of the lustre of Toronto is about an hour’s drive west.  Other tourist attractions in Whitby would include the Whitby Harbour Lighthouse, Lynde House Museum and Whitby Waterfront.  The Holiday Inn Whitby/Oshawa is a close accommodation for fans wishing to stay in the area.

Fans 2

It is difficult to assess OJLL fans as attendance figures are not published.  For the most part, Warriors fans seem to fall in the “friends and family” category with maybe a couple hundred in attendance at best.  The Warriors typically play home games on Tuesdays, which is always a tough night for spectator sports.  Fans in attendance are pretty passive, which is not uncommon for Southern Ontario.


Access 4

Iroquois Park is located in the Port Whitby neighbourhood and adjacent to Downtown.  South of Highway 401, it is not that difficult to get to, provided that fans are not having to come through Toronto, which is always a traffic headache.  There is plenty of free onsite parking.  For fans who wish to take public transit, the Whitby GO Transit station is right by the park and services GO Transit and Durham Region Transit.  Fans should consult the GO Transit and Durham Region Transit websites for fares, maps and schedules.  Getting around Iroquois Park Sports Centre is not difficult at all and the washroom facilities are good.

Return on Investment 4

OJLL lacrosse provides a solid return on investment.  Whitby Warriors tickets are $12 with discounts for Seniors.  Children under 14 are free to enter also.  Parking is free and concession prices are decent.  The action on the floor is great and provides a glimpse into the future of the National Lacrosse League.  Warriors games are a bit under-produced and a few small adjustments would take the return on investment for the Warriors to the next level.

Extras 3

An extra mark for the Iroquois Park Sports Centre as the host of the annual Ontario Lacrosse Festival.

An extra mark for Whitby as a lacrosse hotbed.

An extra mark for the long term success the Warriors have enjoyed, culminating in 8 Minto Cup Championships.

Final Thoughts

Inexpensive and fun, a trip to Whitby, Ontario to take in a Whitby Warriors lacrosse game is well worth it.  Whitby is a hotbed of lacrosse and there have been plenty of famous alumni who have pulled on a Warriors jersey.  The Scotiabank Rink @ Iroquois Park Sports Centre is a solid venue that offers fans just about all they would need in a facility and makes the Warrior experience one to remember.

Follow all of Dave’s sporting adventures on YouTube, Twitter, Threads and Instagram @profan9.

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