Lego fanatic recreates previous Winnipeg Jets enviornment in a whole bunch of vibrant blocks

A Winnipeg Jets fan decided to pay homage to his team by painstakingly building the city’s old arena over the course of a year — all in Lego.

Scott Templeton’s reproduction of the arena — which sat near Polo Park shopping centre and was replaced by the downtown arena in 2004 — is meant to take viewers back to the final warmup of the original Jets team in 1996, brick by brick.

“If you look down into it, hopefully you’re kind of brought back into what warmup in 1996 would have looked like, in Lego form,” Templeton said.

He’s too young to have ever actually seen a game there, so he used archival photos, YouTube videos and people’s memories of the arena to craft his replica.

“Being someone that wasn’t there, it’s been really fun to watch a lot of adults just stop and smile and look at it,” Templeton said in an interview on CBC Manitoba’s Up to Speed on Wednesday.

Templeton’s replica of the old Winnipeg Arena includes a to-scale portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. (Submitted by Scott Templeton)

“Lots of nostalgia, lots of awesome memories for people,” he said.

“Almost every time someone has seen it that was there, they’ve added some kind of reference to it — ‘Hey, I remember seeing that,’ or ‘I remember sitting there,’ and I’ve just tried to keep evolving it little by little to make sure that everybody feels like they’re included somewhere within that build.”

People who look upon the creation will see Jets players in white jerseys, fans in the stands and even some historically accurate ads on the sideboards. 

The centrepiece of it all is a to-scale Lego version of a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II — a nod to the massive painting of the monarch that hung from the rafters in the arena for many years.

Templeton estimates it took 30 to 40 hours to build the arena, but that didn’t all happen at once.

Many of the pieces were custom-made. Some he crafted himself, including the portrait of the Queen and the sideboard ads.

Templeton even tried to capture the steep incline of arena’s upper deck, making it twice as steep as the lower one.

Lego fans are seen in the stands of the replica of the old Winnipeg Arena. (Submitted by Scott Templeton)

Sadly, its incline isn’t as sharp as some fans remember.

“A very common comment has been that upper deck is not steep enough, which is funny because it’s actually twice as steep as the lower bowl when I built it. But still, I think maybe in the future I have to build it steeper,” Templeton said.

LISTEN | Scott Templeton on creating a piece of nostalgia out of Lego:

Up To Speed8:55Lego enthusiast recreates old Winnipeg Jets arena in hundreds of colourful blocks

A local Jets fan decided to pay homage to the old Winnipeg Arena by building another one — Lego brick by Lego brick. Host Marjorie Dowhos speaks to Lego builder Scott Templeton.

The Lego architect says he started making arenas out of the plastic blocks when he was a child, but never anything this extensive.

A history buff, Templeton’s next goal is to make a Lego version of the launch tower for the Saturn V — the rocket used by NASA for the Apollo missions that sent astronauts to the Moon between 1969 and 1972.

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