Dexter Filming Locations: The Ice Hockey Arena


The location: The Hockey Arena.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. The Miami Blades hockey arena.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. In Miami, Florida.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 3 (of Season 1), "Popping Cherry".

    In a previous episode, the "Ice Truck Killer" broke into Dexter's apartment and left a dismembered Barbie doll in his freezer.

    In this episode, the serial killer then leaves his next dismembered, bloodless victim in the goal/net of the hockey rink at this arena.

    Dexter shows up at the crime scene (as the police "blood splatter expert"), walks through the lobby and into the arena, where he's impressed by the killer's showmanship.

    Dexter's sister Debra shows up and recognizes the severed head as that of a prostitute named 'Cherry', a friend from her days working Vice in the red light district.

    Later, they discover a surveillance tape which shows the arena's (missing) night watchman, Tony Tucci, laying out the dismembered parts of the victim's body on the ice. But it turns out that the "Ice Truck Killer" has framed the man.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A sports arena, but nowhere near Miami.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. Both the lobby scenes and the ice rink scenes were filmed at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena (next to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum), in Exposition Park.

    The official address is 3939 S. Figueroa Street, in Los Angeles.

    The L.A. Sports Arena was home to the Lakers basketball team in the 1960's, to the Clippers basketball team in the '80s & '90s, and to the Kings hockey team for their first season in 1967. It was also home to the USC Trojans basketball team for over 45 years (the USC campus is just a short distance north of Exposition Park), before the Trojans moved their games to the new Galen Center.

    The Sports Arena hosted the 1960 Democratic Convention (where John F. Kennedy was nominated), as well as the boxing events of the 1984 Olympics. (The Opening Ceremonies of the 1984 & 1932 Olympics were held next door at the L.A. Coliseum).

    They have also shot quite a few movies at the Sports Arena, including "Rocky", "Ali", "Blades of Glory" and "Space Jam".

    Here is an aerial photo of the arena. And here is a map link.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. At first, considering how much of "Dexter" is shot in Long Beach, I thought it was probably the Long Beach Arena.

    So, I sent a few screencaps to my friend Tim Grobaty (a columnist at the Long Beach Press-Telegram, and resident LB Arena expert), but he assured me that it wasn't the Long Beach Arena after all.

    So, after eliminating the Miami arenas, I moved on to the other  L.A. venues, such as the Forum and the Sports Arena. When the Forum's ceiling proved a mismatch, I Googled images of the Sports Arena, and eventually found a photo of the lobby that left no doubt that it was the filming location for the lobby scenes. I then searched for a photo of the rink & seats inside, and eventually found an archive photo of the Arena's interior matching the distinctive notches on the upper railing seen in the Dexter screencaps.

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