We finally know why the BMO Harris Bank Center is orange.

I have gone to many events in my lifetime at the BMO Harris Bank Center in downtown Rockford. So many, I couldn't even begin to know a number even close. That includes concerts, sports events, and more.

The original Rockford MetroCentre before the upgrades of the BMO Harris Bank Center had some interesting features. Here are some that really stuck out to me.

  • There was only one main lobby.
  • The box office had windows out in a foyer area while there were additional ones available inside the lobby.
  • The escalators in the main lobby go in the same directions. That's up before events and down after.
  • The concourse was very narrow.
  • A few feet away from the outside wall, there was a line on the floor all the way around. That designated the smoking area. So funny now because smoking and nonsmoking were right next to each other.
  • Once inside the hall, you could walk all the way around between the 100 and 200 level sections.
  • Orange seats in the stands. Check out the picture below.
Main Arena Floor MetroCentre

I'm sure there are a few more that I didn't come up with.

Oh, wait. There is one more very important one, the building is orange.

Since the first time I saw the place, I always wondered why it was that color. I've never seen anything else like it. I've asked people through the years but no one ever seemed to have an answer. I think Rockford has just embraced it. In fact, the IceHogs have nicknamed it "The Big Orange Box."

On January 31th, the BMO Harris Bank Center will turn 40. Since there can't be any sort of celebration. I thought it might be fun to flashback to the early years of the arena. I've had a chance to chat with some folks about it. I've got some great photos too. Check it out for yourself

I got the opportunity to talk with Doug Logan. He was the first general manager for the Rockford MetroCentre. Of course, one of the questions I asked him was, "Why is the BMO Harris Bank Center orange?" Guess what, I finally got my answer. Take a listen to what he had to say.

Video: Why The BMO Harris Bank Center In Rockford Is Orange?

If you didn't have the couple of minutes to listen, I don't want to leave you hanging, so I'll just tell you. He wanted it to stand out, so he chose a unique color. It's a pretty simple answer.

The arena is so different now. They did a great job with the improvements.

I also asked him what happened to Ozzy when he collapsed on stage in Rockford. There have been many legends through the years. Here's the real story.

Video: The Real Story Why Ozzy Collapsed On Stage In Rockford

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