Located in the heart of historic downtown Guelph, the Sleeman Centre serves as the city’s premiere venue for sports and entertainment.
About the Centre
This modern, well equipped 5,000-seat facility is an ideal choice for sporting and family events, trade shows, conferences, large-scale concerts and public ceremonial events. The facility features a wide, horseshoe shaped concourse that allows fans uninterrupted views of the action on the ice. Since opening its doors in September 2000, the Sleeman Centre has served as home to the 2013-14 Ontario Hockey League Champions, the Guelph Storm, and since 2009, the Canadian junior team and Guelph Hurricanes. It has also hosted a variety of special events including Professional on Ice skating shows, various concerts including The Tragically Hip, Hedley and Great Big Sea, and competitions such as Founders Cup – Jr B Lacrosse National Championships, Capital One Grand Slam of Curling and Kia Cup Men’s Provincial Curling Championships as well as The Roller Derby Association of Canada’s Eastern Championship Tournament. A well-used community facility, Sleeman Centre is a popular venue for groups such as Stanley Stick Hockey Association, Guelph Figure Skating Club, the Guelph Minor Hockey, Guelph Girls Hockey Association and more. The Centre is also home to major public gatherings, such as the annual Remembrance Day Service, organized by the Royal Canadian Legion Colonel John McCrae Memorial Branch 234 and Ladies Auxiliary.
Originally named The Guelph Sports and Entertainment Centre, the venue was built in 2000 at a cost of $21 million. Talks for a new arena had begun in the late 1980s between City Council and the owners of the Guelph Platers, the OHL team that played at Guelph Memorial Gardens at the time. With no new facility on the immediate horizon, the Guelph Platers moved to Owen Sound in 1989. The search for a new arena gained momentum when the Guelph Storm, the OHL hockey team, moved from Hamilton to Guelph in 1991. Finding a suitable location took several years. When the Eaton’s store at the Guelph Eaton Centre closed down, the city investigated the potential of building an arena in the heart of downtown Guelph. In 1998, the city purchased the Guelph Eaton Centre from ING Barings for $1.7 million and entered a public-private partnership agreement with Guelph Centre Partners (Nustadia Developments Inc.) to build and operate the 5000-seat facility. In 2005, the city took over ownership and operations of the Guelph Sports and Entertainment Centre. In 2007, the city and Sleeman Breweries Ltd entered into a 13-year sponsorship and naming rights agreement for $1.2 million. In 2008, Sleeman Centre hosted the Founders Cup Tournament. In 2009, Guelph’s junior B team, Guelph Hurricanes (formerly known as the Guelph Dominators) officially moved to the facility for their regular season home games. In 2010, Sleeman Centre installed a new video score clock that features four replay screens as well as two LED rings at the top and bottom of the scoreboard. The Sleeman Centre continues to be home for the OHL Team, Guelph Storm and the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League, Guelph Hurricanes.
About Sleeman Breweries Ltd
Sleeman’s brewing tradition in Canada extends back to 1834 when John H. Sleeman arrived in Ontario from Cornwall, England. By 1851, he started the first Sleeman brewery to be located in Guelph, Ontario, brewing small 100-barrel batches. The passion that drove John’s great-great-grandfather to begin his renowned Canadian brewing tradition is the same passion that runs through John’s veins today – Sleeman.ca. At the public celebration of the naming of the Sleeman Centre in 2008, John Sleeman, chairman and CEO of Sleeman Breweries, expressed his commitment to extending his family’s long-standing tradition in our community.
“With over 150 years of history and tradition in the City of Guelph, I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate Sleeman’s ongoing commitment to the community than to put our name on one of the most popular, vibrant facilities in town. This is far and away one of the most significant initiatives Sleeman has ever undertaken and we’re proud to partner with the City of Guelph to reinforce our hometown presence with the Sleeman Centre.” – John Sleeman