Catching up on some missed features and I came across how “Hometown Hockey” had visited Stratford, Ontario.
Already known for its connection to things Shakespeare and historical, Stratford is also home of a classic hockey arena – the William Allman Memorial Arena.
Although it is a topic of debate, locals will tell you that the arena is “the oldest working arena in the world”. They concede that the Galt Arena Gardens opened in 1921 but was not finished construction until 1925 unlike the Allman which they boast “was actually finished when it opened”.
Originally known as the Stratford Arena, the rink has been home to many future NHLers. It has also served as the set for various commercial and film shootings. It is also known for its portrait of Queen Elizabeth which still hangs in a wall on one end of the rink.
The Arena is located downtown not far from the Avon River. It is constructed of brown brick and has a new front facade. Upon entering the building, one finds themselves in a large lobby filled with photographs, trophies, and other hockey items collected over eighty years.
It is a hockey version of a “Field of Dreams”.