When the Barton Street Arena was demolished in 1977, Hamilton had a vacancy for a major ice hockey venue. The Barton Street Arena had been reasonably small, so huge efforts were made to up the capacity with the construction of its replacement. The project was started in 1983 and was completed in 1985 at a cost of $33.5 million, with a further $2.3 million to construct a parking garage. The venue was originally named Copps Coliseum after major Victor Copps.

Over the years, the venue has played host to some of the most important games in the nation. It was one of few venues to host the 1994 FIBA World Championship, along with Maple Leaf Gardens and SkyDome. The following year, the centre hosted the FIBA Americas Championship for Women.

In 1996, the Hamilton Bulldogs took up residence at the FirstOntario centre. As the highest affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens, they helped to bring in over 2 million spectators to the venue.

In early 2014, the Hamilton City council voted in favour of a $3.5-million deal to rename the Copps Coliseum after local credit union First Ontario. The name FirstOntario Centre was revealed that spring. Today, the venue is primarily home to the Ontario Hockey League’s Belleville Bulls team.

Along with games, the FirstOntario Centre also provides a platform for the biggest stage shows from the world’s top recording artists to showcase their touring shows. Canada’s premier entertainment venue has a lot to offer!

FirstOntario Centre

For venue parking information please see the parking page.

For ticket information and information on our ticket provider please see the FirstOntario Centre tickets page.

For seating chart configuration and find out about accessible seating, please see the Seating Chart page.