UBC Thunderbird Arena (also known as the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre)

Smart Site Selection - Demonstrating smart site selection, this venue involved the redevelopment of an existing facility and included the refurbishment and reuse of several major components of an existing ice plant.
Waste Heat Reuse - The venue’s use of an Eco-Chill system to heat the building, which recycles waste heat from ice refrigeration, minimizes energy consumption. Waste heat is used to preheat domestic hot water.
Green Buildings -  This venue incorporates green building design to a level that’s comparable to a highly sustainable industry practice for sport facilities.
Accessible for Sport - Two of the three arenas at this venue are fitted with the Plexiglas boards required for ice sledge hockey, which makes this venue the only arena in Vancouver accessible to ice sledge hockey teams.
Aboriginal Art -  Aboriginal art created by Direction 7 from the Musqueam Nation, in the form of a large thunderbird carving, hangs at the entrance to the arena as part of the Vancouver 2010 Venues’ Aboriginal Art Program.

More Information

  • Canada’s National Hockey Program was born at the UBC Thunderbird Arena (also known as the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre). UBC Hall of Famer Bob Hindmarch and the late Rev. Father David Bauer established Canada’s first national hockey team at UBC in 1963 in preparation for the Innsbruck 1964 Olympic Winter Games in Austria.
  • As part of the Vancouver 2010 Venues’ Aboriginal Art Program, Musqueam artists Joe Becker, Thomas Cannell, Chrystal Sparrow, Debra Sparrow and Robyn Sparrow have created artwork in a variety of mediums for the UBC Thunderbird Arena. Additionally, Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is leading a youth mentorship art project to create a legacy sculpture.
  • Two ice resurfacing machines will simultaneously clean the surface, taking approximately eight minutes to do the job.
  • According to VANOC’s chief ice maker, the ideal air temperature at the arena is 15 to 17 degrees Celsius, while the ideal ice surface temperature is -6 to -7.5 degrees Celsius. Optimal humidity is 40 to 44 per cent and ideal ice thickness is roughly 2.5 centimeters.
  • In preparation for the Games, 1,800 temporary seats will be installed and 28,000 square metres of athletic fields will be turned into hard surface for operational space for approximately 20 trailers and 19 tents in the back-of-house area.
  • The Eye on the Ice system will monitor ice temperature and humidity on the surface as well as building temperature and humidity, reporting the data to a centralized computer. This stream of information allows the ice maker to manipulate the venue conditions and optimize the ice surface.
  • Video replay systems will allow the timing, scoring and results (TSR) crews and competition management teams accurately determine goals and review questionable puck movement around the goal line.

Field-of-Play Transition for the Paralympic Winter Games:

  • For the first time in Paralympic Winter Games history, ice surfaces will be made in the benches and boxes to ease the transition for players from resting area to playing surface.
  • The players’ bench and penalty boxes will be outfitted with Lexan (a transparent resin) so ice sledge hockey players can easily see the playing surface.
  • For adaptive athletes, a transition area will be installed to enable athletes to change in and out of their sleds and move more fluidly between the ice surface and the dressing room.
  • All dressing rooms are completely outfitted with accessible amenities including specialized dressing areas with lower hooks and cubbies. The specialized areas were built at the RONA Vancouver 2010 Fabrication Shop.
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