I only saw one game at MLG (I saw two concerts there but what's the point in that), actually it's the only game I've ever been to in Toronto (I've been to the Saddledome and GM place more then I've been to the ACC or MLG).
It was pretty surreal when I went, like classic Canadiana. I went with my Grandfather, Father and Uncle, all whom are huge Leafs fans. I had my first sip of beer and got to watch a fight. The Leafs got killed (7-2, I think) but it was a great night.
I can't stand the thought of the building being anything other than hockey related.
I'm going to step onto my soapbox for a second, so I apologize in advance.
If I were in charge of MLSE, I wouldn't have sold MLG, the building is a commodity itself, people would still go to things just because it's a historic building.
Why are the Marlies at Ricco playing in front of no one when they could be at a renovated and downsized MLG, right in the middle of the city? Ricco is a fine arena and I know the city is pushing that end of town (the new Toronto FC stadium is right there too) and Carlton street ain't what it used to be but hockey in Toronto is a downtown thing.
"But you'll need another tenant to make it worth while". Well there's always the Majors but you're not going to be able to bank anything on them. I'm talking about the Toronto Rock, a huge success for MLSE. The Rock played in MLG before and the house always rocked, this team would be an ideal second tenant for the arena.
"But you need gimicks nowadays to get people to come to new arena".
Besides the heritage factor I reckon you could buy the entire Canadian Sports Hall of Fall for about the amount of your next beer returns. They are looking for a new perminent home too. Imagine walking the halls of MLG and looking at great memorabilia from Canadian sports history. It would take a little jigging but I bet a creative thinker could make the whole thing work and look great. This way you could keep it open as a tourist attraction on non-game days.
I dunno, it's sad to walk past MLG and see what it's become.
I'm be getting off the soapbox now, thank you for you time.
I saw a lot of hockey at the gardens, Leafs and Marlies hockey.
I worked selling ice cream bars as a kid, so I got to see most of it for free. How it worked was this, you show up, you line up along the wall, you get picked, you work and make some scratch, and still get to see the events. If you don't get picked, you still get to see the events, but you don't get paid. All they asked was that you stay out of the way and not take anyone's seat. It was a fantastic job.
I miss the old lady, but the ACC is a nice joint as well