That's right, no fresh hamburgers in the Coliseum. There's no venting system to the area outside the bowl, so that means no heating, A/C or set-ups to cook food. I learned this and nine other curious facts when I tagged along on the Rose Quarter Development citizen advisory group tour of the historic building yesterday morning:

Mayoral spokesman Roy Kaufmann covets the MCs fountain.
  • Mayoral spokesman Roy Kaufmann covets the MC's fountain.
• All the conference rooms downstairs are named after paper product companies. There's the Weyerhauser room, the US Plywood room, etc. These rooms are lined with their namesake woods and are little artifacts of a time when Oregon lumber was king. These days, the most recent event I attended in the Plywood room was a depressing foreclosure conference.
• The roof doesn't leak. But the giant windows are all single-paned. It's a bitch to heat.
• The Coliseum and Rose Garden each host about 150 events a year. Last year, 450,000 people came to the Coliseum for events. Most of them are annual affairs, like high school graduations.
• Frightown looks really creepy. It's the haunted house set up every year in the Coliseum basement. The coffins and wooden ghouls seem perfectly at home in the grim, low-ceilinged space.
• The yellow streaks running across the ice are signs that the pipes underneath the ice floor are rusting. This is one of the problems that Memorial Coliseum manager Chris Oxley said add up to "potentially catastrophic challenges with the space."
• The giant four-screen video box hanging over the ice is broken. No one can fix it. "Even when it worked, it wasn't very good," said Oxley. So don't be expecting Winterhawks instant replays anytime soon.
• All but one of the restaurants in the Rose Quarter are deceased. This article from 1994 enthusiastically announces the opening of a sports pub with a $200,000 audiovisual system. Now there is nowhere to buy a sandwich on a Monday afternoon, much less watch a 36-foot wall of TVs.
• The Trailblazers are playing a game in the Coliseum this Wednesday to celebrate 40 years in Portland. Tickets are only $20, but the players will not be wearing 70s era short shorts (despite request).
• The equipment in the Memorial Coliseum kitchen is from a WWII battleship. It's older than the Coliseum itself.