Bye bye orange Toyota Center seats! (Tri City Americans)
Bye bye orange Toyota Center seats! (Tri City Americans)

Yes, after 35 years of orange, they're going away!

Toyota Center remodeling begins today, Tuesday, June 14

When the Toyota Center was built as the Tri-Cities Coliseum 35 years ago, people wondered why it had orange seats. Why not something more locally-themed or neutral?

It's a commonly known fact that brightly or off-colored seats can often be had for less cost, and Ron Dixon, who helped 'oversee' the facility, was known for seeking 'bargains.'  We've talked to some folks who were there when this happened, but we've never been able to find anything 'official' or written down.

Dixon moved his New Westminster Bruins WHL franchise to the Tri-Cities in 1988, and there are many who say the orange seats were installed because they were a great 'buy.'   This image from a YouTube video of the 1990 season vs. Victoria shows nary an empty seat, but give you an idea of the crowds!


Old Tri Cities Coliseum 1990. Ams vs Victoria (youtube stil image--HAP180)
Old Tri Cities Coliseum 1990. Ams vs Victoria (youtube stil image--HAP180)


  Many stadiums have colored seats to match the home team

Many stadiums have at least some color to match their home team, and some universities and even pro sports will differentiate season ticket holder sections with different colored seating arrangements.  Some stadiums and arenas just look bad, though.

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For years, the knock on the Tri-Cities Coliseum, then the Three Rivers Coliseum then the Toyota Center was that the bright orange would "highlight" empty seats. Even if a large crowd, the orange would emphasize those that were empty.

 But now the orange is gone!

In the words of legendary Americans hockey announcer Craig West, "LaGrande Orange of Kennewick is toast!"

  What color will the new ones be?

Apparently, it's a surprise?  We searched, looked, and even asked officials. Several told us we will find out soon enough...the suspense builds!

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.


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