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Canucks Arena appeals to the senses

Workers begin removing the General Motors Place sign off the arena which is home to the NHL's Vancouver Canucks after it was renamed Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday July 6, 2010. The arena had been called GM Place since it opened in 1995. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

DARRYL DYCK

Vancouver Canucks chief operating officer Victor de Bonis says the NHL club has spent $40-million spicing up its home arena, and that the fan experience during the 2010-11 regular season will prove it is money well spent.

The Canucks rolled out some new bells and whistles in advance of their NHL home opener Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings at the newly minted Rogers Arena. Included among the new stimuli for the senses is blue-and-green lighting outside the building, which will mark Canucks' game days, and inject some team colours to the Vancouver skyline.

The Canucks have erected eight large banners of star players inside the concourse near entrances, and will unveil two in-arena interactive exhibits on the team and its history. The team will also enhance its in-game presentation with 16 new projectors, eight 12-metre canvas scrims, and ice-level microphones designed to convey sounds of the game all the way to the bowl's upper reaches.

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"We want to deliver the best experiences as we can," de Bonis said. "The goal is that everybody comes to games and feels like they're getting value."

The fan initiatives were announced Friday, in conjunction with the official unveiling of the new arena name.

Rogers Communications Inc. executives took part, and said that a new Canucks mobile app, with exclusive content for Rogers subscribers, should be available by November.

The existing Canucks-NHL app will continue to be free, while Rogers customers in British Columbia and Yukon will be able to stream live games on their mobile device for a fee. Rogers customers will also be able to see some practices, news conferences and others events inside the arena.

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About the Author
B.C. sports correspondent

Based in Vancouver, Matthew spearheads the Globe's sports coverage in B.C., and spends most of his time with the NHL Canucks and CFL Lions. He has worked for four dailies and TSN since graduating from Carleton University's School of Journalism a decade ago, and has covered the Olympic Games, Super Bowls, Grey Cups, the Stanley Cup playoffs and the NBA Finals. More

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