Home Of The Belleville Bulls
On January 2nd, 2010, my wife and I made the trip to Belleville to watch the Bulls take on the Kingston Frontenacs.
Belleville has a classic small city downtown with many shops, restaurants and pubs. There were a few vacant storefronts but overall Downtown looked pretty healthy. It was a shame that the temperature was -15C that day as I would have liked to have explored downtown a little more.
The Moira River runs through the middle of Belleville and provides some nice scenery. There were several walking paths in the area, but just getting out of the car long enough to take this picture was a struggle on this extremely cold day.
The Yardmen Arena was built in 1978 and looking at the styling of this building, it is as 70s as they come.
The main lobby looks a lot more modern than the exterior. We arrived early in the afternoon to pick up our tickets so the team store was unfortunately closed at the time of this photo.
At the ends of the rink the concourse is nice and wide with several concession outlets. Things didn’t seem too crowded here during the intermissions.
However along the sides of the rink, the concourse is extremely narrow and there is little room to maneuver once the crowds start filing in. The concourse runs along the top of the seating area along the side providing a view of the game.
This arena was one of the ones I was most excited about seeing. The ice pad is international size which makes this arena very unique in the OHL. One of the things that I enjoy most about junior hockey is that unique arenas like this still exist.
At approximately 3500 seats this is one of the smallest OHL venues. There is a lot of seating along the sides but there is very little at the ends. The score clock has video boards, however unlike the LCD boards commonly found in most new arenas, these screens appeared to be projection screens of some type. Unless you are right in front of them, they are very dim and difficult to see, but that’s okay, as they were mainly used to pipe in advertisements.
The crowd seemed very quiet for the most part. In the first period Belleville had not one, but TWO goals disallowed. If that had happened in Windsor, the crowd would have been all over the officials. In Belleville, the fans didn’t seem too worried. The loudest the crowed got was during the second intermission when the video board was showing the night’s NHL scores. The crowd erupted when they saw that the Maple Leafs were winning for a change.
I enjoyed my time in Belleville very much and hope to return one day.