09/30/2013 12:11 PM
Portland Pirates make Androscoggin Bank Colisée their Home
They are sticking with the name Portland, but the Pirates will have a new home venue for the 2013-14 AHL season.
With renovations and a court battle keeping the Pirates out of the Cumberland County Civic Center, the team decided on a new home in Lewiston at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée.
Formerly known as the Central Maine Youth Center, the Coliseée was built in 1958-59. Currently owned and operated by Firland Management, the arena has played host to a variety of events in the 60 plus years since its completion.
On May 25, 1965, it was the site of the famous rematch between boxing legend Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston. In just under three minutes, Ali officially knocked out Liston. The decision is still clouded with controversy today with people calling the punch that knocked Liston down the "phantom punch." While some people believe Liston may have thrown the fight for various reasons, others say that it was a clean win for Ali who delivered a perfect punch.
While the Ali/Liston fight may be the most famous event to be held in the Colisée, the sport of hockey has been around the arena the most. From 1973-77, the arena was the home of the Maine Nordiques, an affiliate of the Quebec Nordiques, at that time still a member of the World Hockey Association. The Nordiques were part of the North American Hockey League, which folded in September of 1977.
In 2003, the Colisée then became home to the Lewiston Maineiacs, a team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The organization began in 1969 in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, where they stayed until 1992. After moving to Sherbrooke, Quebec from 1992-2003, the franchise came to Lewiston. The team spent nine seasons in Lewiston, producing a few NHL players, most notably Jaroslav Halak, Jonathan Bernier and David Perron, and winning the QMJHL President's Cup in 2006-07 before eventually folding in 2011.
And though the Colisée has not had a continuous professional team as their tenant, the arena annually plays host to high school games in the Lewiston area and has been the site of multiple high school championships, including last year's boy's high school hockey final that saw Falmouth defeat Lewiston.
In 2013-14, the Pirates will make the Colisée their home, kicking off their season on Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. against the Manchester Monarchs.
For season tickets, call the Pirates office at 828-4665. For individual tickets, go online to www.thecolisee.com, as well as the new Portland Pirates website, or call the Colisée box office at 783-2009 ext. 525.