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Portland Winter Hawks Memorial Coliseum Update


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This has been a concept that?s been running through my head for a few years. Our local WHL team, the Portland Winter Hawks, have been in Portland for 31 seasons and have very rich history. The team owners who have been in for less than a year want to get the Memorial Coliseum back up to a top venue in the city and in the league. Yesterday, WHL officials announced that the Memorial Coliseum, which the Hawks played 30 of 36 home games, is not up to standards for play (the other 6 games were played at the Rose Garden, home of the Blazers. The ice can be hit or miss, there are problems in the players? locker room, and some of the glass boards need to be replaced. Aside from the things mentioned, as a fan there is a lot that could be done to make the building better. So far the new owners have bought a video replay screen that should be installed over the off season, which is a major addition that has been needed for years, up until now it has only been a light board. The place is dirty and they have finally replaced most of the broken chairs, so they are going in the right direction. The thing that stood out to me is that it doesn?t seem like the Hawks home visually. The Rose Garden is made up of all red, white, and black signs and red and black seats (Yes, it has to be because they are Blazers colors, but the work well for the Hawks). The Memorial Coliseum has blue seats in the lower bowl and orange seats in the upper bowl with circular section indicators painted above in a color that matches the seats. As the main tenant, what I thought would look good, would be to use the Hawks classic jersey styles (Chicago Blackhawks copies) and either keep the section indicators circular or change them to rectangular. While replacing all 12,000+ seats to red and black isn?t a feasible option but changing the section number to something like this gives the arena more of a "homey" feel.



The second thing is there that there are lager grey concrete areas behind the goal (this was the best picture I could find, thanks to OHLarenaguide.com for the pic), I was thinking that on one end (the end not covered by an End Stage configuration) painting the Portland city skyline as the Winter Hawks have used on their alternate jerseys the previous two seasons, minus the text (image attached below). This way even when the building is being used for concerts, there is still the skyline for the city of Portland which isn't really team specific. On the other end, I don?t have an exact mock up of it, but I was thinking that a painting the logos from Portland's two Memorial Cup Championships (thanks to Frylock for these images). I was thinking maybe of doing some sort of fanning out of feathers behind the logos, like seen on the Winter Hawks/Blackhawks logo, only fuller and with more feathers.




I know this is long and not the really a concept, more of what I would like to see happen in an ideal world. I would appreciate comments and suggestions. I do have one more idea I've yet to mock up, as it came to me while typing this up, so I'll post that later to add to the mess.


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As for the other idea I had, the way the Memorial Coliseum is set up, to get into the arena bowl, you have to go through giant doors to get to your section. Your ticket lists the door that you need to go through to enter your section, all of which consist of the same letter twice (Entry AA, BB, etc.). There are usually four doors per section and all are painted bright color combinations that look very dated. Things such as dark blue with sky blue letters, purple with orange, orange with yellow, etc. What I think would be a cool idea is to take each set of doors and paint them like the jerseys the Hawks have worn over the years. You would have to double up each design to get all the doors in the building, but I think it would be a cool way to represent their history. Here is a (bad) representation of what the doors currently look like, and the two classic jersey designs, plus two more, that I don't have the skill to play with and make decent, but I think you get the idea.






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Cool ideas! If the new owners really want to get the MC fixed up, they really ought to go the extra mile to give the place a Winter Hawks feel. Normally, I'd be ranting about how they need to refurbish the MC and keep the look as original as possible, but I like your ideas and they should be considered.

After reading your posts, I came up with a couple ideas to build upon your original concepts...

Regarding the section markers, the idea of making them look like the sweaters is awesome. I really can't suggest anything beyond that except that they should add the last name of former Hawks underneath the markers. Since they don't retire numbers, this could be a nice way to further honor players...


The 21 on the left is an attempt at keeping the current font, the 18 on the right is an attempt at using an athletic font, i.e. the "CCM" font we've chatted about.

Interesting thoughts about the lower bowl endzones. Personally, I would just do the skyline on both ends. It gives the bowl some continuity. And, as much as I hate to say this, Autzen Stadium is a great example of how the idea can work...


As for the doors, that's a cool idea. I haven't gotten to the turkey jersey yet, so I don't have the feathers image to work with. But here's my idea for the skyline doors...


Hmm... Maybe we should pass these ideas to Hawks brass?

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Frylock, sorry I checked to see where this got to on the back logged pages and didn't see you had posted. As for your suggestions you are right on with my thoughts on this project when I orignally started it. And as of today, looks like Mr. Allen once again owns the Rose Graden, which ins't the best news for the Hawks...rumor has it he wasnts to level the MC and make it a multipurose facility...not cool.

The red circle for the secton (and attached black to keep the upper and lower bowl contrast while using team colors) was where this all started, that was the thing that got me during a my trips to the MC, all the rest has expanded from there. The idea about adding the names was something I considered up until posting it here, the reason I left them out was due to the fact that many players have worn the same number of the years, so with the lower digits (0-35 or so) you could see some with multiple names bleow (or as I thought of it, above, so you could always keep adding) and then very few from 36-99, the only one I can think of is Marcel Hossa at 81, if you even want to call that his number since he was 17 for two of the three seasons.


As for the city skyline on both ends, that too was the original idea, but I changed it last minute when I was at home becuase I picked up a replica skyline jersey and asked if they would be using them next season, and was told that the would have "a new 3rd jersey with a clean, classic look." (which I hope means tie neck) Thats when I decided to try and come up with something for the other end, but I agree all the way around would look good with the consistancy.

As for the Skyline door, that is spot on, just like I imagined it. I definately think this is worth persuing, I posted this concept on the oregonlive.com section the Hawks have and got a some response, but not as much as I was hoping for. Part of my logic was to get other fans reactions, and also to throw it out there for the Hawks people to see (I know Scooter posts on there and as of this week, the owner does too). Let me know what you are thinking and can go from there. Thanks for the help I think we are on exactly the same page here.


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