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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

WFCU Centre - Windsor Spitfires



Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29

WFCU Centre 8787 McHugh St Windsor, ON N8S 0A1


Year Opened: 2008

Capacity: 6,500


Tragedy To Triumph

The WFCU Centre is the home of the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League. The building has a seating capacity of 6,450 for hockey and was built for $71 million, opening on December 11, 2008. The new home to the Spitfires ensured that the club would remain in Windsor for the foreseeable future.


The arena replaced the 84-year-old Windsor Arena that the Spitfires had called home since 1975. The new WFCU Centre was a much-needed replacement for the aging arena and resulted in the building hosting the 2017 Memorial Cup.


The original Spitfires were members of the Ontario Hockey Association from 1945 to 1953 and relocated to Hamilton. The current version began operations in 1971 in the Major Junior Hockey League and was promoted to the Ontario Hockey League in 1975. In the close to 50 years in the OHL, the Spits have captured three league championships (1988, 2009, and 2010) and three Memorial Cups (2009, 2020, and 2017).


The Spitfires are named after the Royal Canadian Air Force No. 417 Squadron, nicknamed “City of Windsor” squadron, who flew the Spitfire fighter planes during World War II. To many fans, they are nicknamed the Spits.


Besides hockey, the building also houses the Windsor Express of the Basketball Super League, which won back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015. The arena has hosted the World U-17 Hockey Challenge, OHL All-Star Game, Skate Canada International, and the World Cup of Curling.



Food & Beverage 3

All of the concessions are available in the main concourse and above the seating bowl at one end of the arena. The featured items include hamburgers, veggie dogs, hot dogs, pizza slices, chicken tenders, and poutine. Snack items include popcorn, nachos, fries, candy, pretzels, and chips. The arena offers combo deals from $12 to $18.


Pepsi products, MillerCoors, and Molson products are available for purchase during the game. A nice treat is the freshly baked mini donuts that fans can see riding through a carousel and topped with cinnamon and sugar. 



Atmosphere 4

The WFCU Center features an outer concourse that wraps almost entirely around the building. The arena houses the WFCU Centre Bar and the Crown Royal Club Lounge, a team pro shop, multiple concession stands, three public rinks, and a swimming pool.


The Centre Bar is between gates 1 and 2 and across from sections 109 and 110. The bar offers beer, wine, and other spirits. Fans can also enjoy seat service, open views of the rink, and tabletop seats. The Crown Royal Club Lounge is exclusive to Platinum seat ticket holders, offering beer, wine, and other drinks. It houses a full menu selection and opens 2 hours before the game. Fans can enjoy couch seating and live music in the club lounge.


The seating bowl offers unobstructed views of the rink, banners hang from the rafters of former players and past championships. The team has three mascots: Bomber, Spike, and Ace, who make their way throughout the concourse and skate on the ice during pre-game festivities. 


Neighborhood 3

The arena is near various shopping centers, restaurants, and retail stores. The Tecumseh Mall is within a few blocks, along with El Dorado Tacos, East Side Marios, Average Joe’s Sports Bar, and Windsor Pizza, home to the city’s style of pizza-Super-that features thinly sliced pepperoni, bacon, green peppers, and canned mushrooms.


Downtown is about a 15-20 minute drive and close to the two border crossings into Detroit. Walkerville Brewery is recommended for craft pints in a historic building, but the last call is at 7:30 pm. Just downstairs is Funky Chow Kitchen. A few blocks south is Kildare House, The Grand Cantina, and The Twisted Apron. 


Depending on the weather, a walk along the riverfront is a must for all visitors. The views of the Detroit skyline, the sculpture park, and the new Gordie Howe Bridge that is under construction make for photo spots. Cesar Windsor Casino and the Canadian Aviation Museum are two other points of interest.


Fans 3

During our review, it was one of those years that most Spitz fans would like to forget. However, fans lined up early before the doors opened, a few weighed flags, and many others made noise with noise-makers to add to the ambiance of the building. It was a great crowd for our visit, and one would think that the season had been going a little bit better for the hometown club. 



Access 4

The arena is north of downtown and the Border crossings. If crossing on a weekend night, take the bridge, the tunnel gets backed up, possibly from 19-year-old Americans taking advantage of Canada’s drinking age.


The WFCU Centre is about a 15-20 minute drive north, situated in a residential/commercial district with easy access to shopping malls, regional chain restaurants, and other points of interest. There is plenty of parking adjacent to the arena for games. Once inside the building, there is one main concourse that offers fans everything they would need for the game


Return on Investment 3

The cost of a ticket is as low as $20 and as high as $44 per game. The prices are on par with many other OHL clubs. The parking was free, at least I did not see anyone taking money, and concession prices ranged from $5.25 for a hot dog, $9,50 for a domestic beer, and $15 for a poutine burger and fries. Please keep in mind that these are all in Canadian dollars, if coming from across the border for the States, the exchange rate could be favorable, or not.


Extras 3

The WFCU Centre is a premier facility in the city and for the OHL. The arena provides great views of the rink, easy access to seating, and an energetic fanbase. A Spitfires game makes for a great outing during the hockey season.


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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunter and his YouTube channel. Email at Marc.Viquez@stadiumjourney.com 

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