Saturday, January 07, 2006

Brick by Brick, row by row

It's a slow march to history for the Winnipeg Arena, demolition has begun on the grand old barn of sport for Manitobans as the Polo Park sports facility begins its path to the history books.

Winnipeggers have been dropping by the home of many memories to watch the demolition crews go about the process of removing a building that brought much joy and a fair amount of heartbreak to the Winnipeg sports scene.

The crews began their work a number of weeks ago, but it wasn't until this week that the crowd could see the true beginning of the end for the Arena. The walls have come tumbling down, exposing the seats and inner memories of the legendary Maroons Road rink.

Many of those stopping by to watch think back to the days of the Jets, the Blizzard of White Nights when Manitobans would dress in their Winnipeg white Jersey's creating a sea of white in the old arena. NHL Playoff runs, Junior championships and bonspiels all at one time or another held the spotlight in the building with the picture of the Queen smiling down on them. Soon all that will be left of the site will be the memories and ghosts of the games gone by.

Demolition is expected to take place through until May when the site will be finished and the land turned over to some other use. The entertainment mecca is now many miles to the east in the downtown area, but for generations of Manitobans the greatest moments in sport belong forever to the Winnipeg Arena.

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