Inside the KRC

Kingston Frontenacs
It’s no secret. Kingstonist has poked fun at the LVEC, Krock, KRC etc… in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. Last weekend I was given free tickets to go see the Kingston Frontenacs play the Ottawa 67’s, thanks to my involvement in the local United Way campaign, which raised over $2.8 million. I am a big hockey fan, just not a fan of the Fronts. That said, I wasn’t going to turn down free tickets to check out my first official event at the Krock, and spend some time with friends. What I discovered inside the hallowed, tax-payer funded walls, may shock you.

You may recall that my first time inside the K-Rock Centre was just before the grand opening concert featuring the Tragically Hip, which went down last Winter. Safe to say that we did not have tickets, nor were we challenged while we freely walked throughout the venue prior to first big show, taking video, chatting with workers, and trying to look like we belonged. With the exorbitant and crippling service charges, I wasn’t keen to return anytime soon, unless the price and event was right. A lot has changed since my first visit, and I must say that the facility looks great.

But shouldn’t it? I mean it’s a huge pit we’ve all thrown money into, so the least they could do was finish painting the walls, slap cost-recovering advertising all over every surface, etc… As I’ve heard from others, there honestly isn’t a bad seat in the house. We found ourselves in the Fronts’ end, where most the action was concentrated. By that I mean Ottawa dominated Kingston in the first period, and it was a miracle that the game only ended in a 4-3 loss for Doug Gilmour’s boys. In my opinion, unless he’s going to strap on the skates, there’s little hope for the team in this rebuilding year.

Back to the Krock. I discovered the sophistication of club seating, which is a huge section behind the players’ benches that offers exclusive access to club ticket holders, wider padded seating, private concessions, and washrooms. Then there is the box seating, with loads of leg room, even comfier seating, LED televisions, and what looked to be a good spread of food and booze. But again, I can’t complain about the seats we had, and I doubt there were many in attendance who had trouble seeing the action. In comparison, the LVEC is a huge step up from the M-Centre, as it truly shows off Kingston in a positive light.

Throughout the game there were mascot-driven give-aways, amazing instant replay from Cogeco, popcorn that smelled as though it was harvested from a buttery field, beer by the tallboy (cans, not plastic cups), and extremely courteous and helpful staff members. Although I doubt I’ll be lining up to pay to see a hockey game any time soon, you can bet that I’ll be lurking around the area, trying to find the promoters who are giving away free tickets before the game. Save for my taxes going up this year, surprisingly, I don’t have a bad thing to say about the finished interior. Sure it could be bigger, and I would love to see vendors walking the crowds with snacks and such, but those things would undoubtedly cause our taxes to rise even more. Now if we can only get some good bands from this century in there, I’ll be very happy. Check out the new Flickr set for more from the game.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

5 thoughts on “Inside the KRC

  • Absolutely – and don’t forget – all of them are empty almost all of the time..

    Nice place or not – it’s a huge, ill-located White Elephant..!

  • People!

    The game-sheet says there were 3432 fans at this game. That’s 60% full, as you can clearly see from the photos on Flickr.

    I don’t know what y’all are complaining about! The building is generating $20 Million dollars per year in new economic activity. It’s also generating HUNDREDS of equivalent-jobs. just as those ex-KEDCO’ers, including current KEDCO boss Jeff Garah, told us so back in 2005.

    The building is drawing fans from far afield, just as Uber-marketing consultant Ron Bidulka told us it would.

    And the deal between the City and the Frontenacs is an imminently fair one. Don Gedge told us so. And the building will never cause an increase in taxes. Our current city CAO told us so.

    If anything, the building is doing pretty much as the BIA told us it would. Our friends aren’t traveling to Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto to see shows at all anymore! And we’ve become a de-rigueur stop for “all those bands who used to pass-us-by” on the 401.

    And god bless Rod Baker, who instead of playing and selling-out just several nights at the LVEC, has risen to the occasion, and the honour of his good name, and played no less than one!

    And potential new businesses look at the LVEC and chose Kingston as THE place to be, exactly like Ken Wong told us they would.

    It’s all good! Naysayers!

  • You cant blame the Krock center really too much for the empty seats at games, some of the blame has to fall on the shabby team that calls it home. A better team would see a lot of people jumping on the old bandwagon and seats would fill.

    I have to disgree somewhat about the quality of shows but maybe that is personnal choice. Ive been to 5 shows at the ACC in the past few years all big acts and not once did I pay as much for seats as the Krock charges for mediocre acts like Sheryl Crow and Avril. The only show worth the money so far has been Dylan.. but that is based on personnal preference I suppose.

    I suppose it will be interesting to see how it does once the novelty of it being a new arena wears off.

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