Opened in October 1998, the Hershey Centre has become the premier sports and entertainment facility in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). To date the facility has hosted over 3000 event days and welcomed more than 4 million guests. Over its seventeen years of operation, the facility and its experienced SMG staff have staged numerous high profile events including regional, provincial, national and world hockey and figure skating championships. The facility has welcomed artists such as Green Day, Russell Peters, Chris Brown, The Tragically Hip, B.B. King, the White Stripes and Hedley.
With this impressive list of profile events the Hershey Centre team has also managed to secure many community events vital to the residents of Mississauga. These events include the annual Carassauga Festival, which draws 100,000 visitors to the Hershey Centre site alone. The Little Native Hockey League has successfully relocated their 175-team tournament to Mississauga from the North, taking over the Hershey Centre during March Break. With each successive event, audience numbers continually increase and yearly budget projections are surpassed.
The Hershey Centre is proud to be home to the Mississauga Steelheads of the Ontario Hockey League. The Steelheads bring fast paced, high-calibre hockey action at an affordable family price. The 2015-2016 Steelheads’ roster includes 3 of the NHL’s top prospects in the 2016 Draft.
In 2011, the Hershey Centre hosted the MasterCard Memorial Cup where the home team, The Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors, made huge strides in the tournament but fell in the final game.
In 2015, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment partnered with the City of Mississauga to bring the new Raptors 905 team home to Hershey Centre. This is the first Canadian, and nineteenth, NBA Development League team and is expected to further develop community pride in the sport. Fans have a chance to see many players from the teams’ NBA affiliate, Toronto Raptors, on our court.
The most recent legacy for the Hershey arenas was being chosen as a Toronto 2015 Pan & Para Pan Am Games venue, known as the Mississauga Sports Centre. The main arena hosted combative Pan Am sports: Judo, Taekwondo, Wrestling, and Karate. Wheelchair Rugby, Powerlifting and Goalball were featured in two arenas during the Para Pan Am games. The Mississauga Sports Centre was one of the few venues in the TO2015 footprint to host a competition every day of the Games.
In addition to the main event arena, three attached ice surfaces are the home of hockey teams in all of the major Mississauga and Toronto associations.
In September 2007, a 200,000 square foot expansion, known as the Mississauga SportZone, opened to the anticipation of soccer enthusiasts throughout the GTA. The complex includes a full size FIFA indoor artificial soccer field, gymnastics centre, triple gymnasium, fitness centre, meeting space and licensed lounge. Outside, two artificial turf fields with a full lighting system is now used year-round, domed in the winter months, for football, soccer and other community sport activities. The Mississauga SportZone alone welcomes almost 100,000 visitors each month.
Despite the proximity to numerous other similar facilities and the highly competitive Greater Toronto market, the Hershey Centre has established itself as the premier 5000 seat facility in the area and arguably, in the province. Even in this atmosphere of high competition, the facility averages over 140 event nights per year due to its corporate network within the SMG family, superior service, amenities and professional, experienced staff. For these reasons the Hershey Centre continues to be a critical and financial success story serving the citizens of Mississauga.