The BMO Centre in Calgary's Stampede Park is about to get a huge makeover. According to the Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the federal government will be committing $166.6 million to expand the current BMO Centre. Altogether, $500 million will be invested from multiple parties to build the new Calgary centre, making it the second largest event facility in all of Canada.
Back in December, the project was approved by the City of Calgary. This massive project will more than double the size of the current BMO Centre located in Calgary's Stampede Park. Within the new centre, there will be conference spaces, meeting areas, exhibitions, and areas for consumer shows. Investors are hoping that this expansion will allow the centre to host larger conventions and events, therefore, boosting the Alberta tourism sector.
"Tourism and trade show facilities like the BMO Centre play a huge role in supporting our local economies. This project will create good middle-class jobs and a landmark attraction that will attract tourists and strengthen Calgary's economy for years to come," said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
The $500 million investment will allow the BMO Centre to double in size. With an estimated one million square feet, this event centre will be the second largest events facility in Canada. Currently, the number one spot is held by Exhibition Place in Toronto.
Not only will this new centre boost tourism, but it will also create more local jobs. It is estimated that the construction of the facility will create more than 1,800 jobs. Another 500 full-time jobs will be available once completed.
An expansion as large as this is thought to be extremely necessary for Calgary. According to CBC, the Calgary Stampede once admitted that the current BMO venue was too small for the number of events wanting to come to the centre. Each year, the venue had to turn down 11 to 14 large conventions due to the inability to hold the crowds.