Rogers Place Arena
Category : Misc
Rogers Place Arena
Edmontonions have waited for years to be rewarded for their patience by the completion of Rogers Place Arena. Rogers Place Arena is the home of Edmonton Oilers hockey franchise of the national hockey league. Open to the public earlier this month, it has held a few events .
Many of its significant features include a seating capacity of over 18,000 fans for sporting evens, with a larger sitting capacity of 20,000 for concerts. Wide concourses, leading food and beverages offerings and the latest in technology are further amenities. The building is served by LRT and there are hundreds of parking specs within a five minute walk. The winter Garden, recently renamed Ford Hall, provides easy pedway access to transit as well as surrounding towers, restaurants, hotels accommodations and the rest of downtown.
Executive director of the downtown business association Jim Taylor remembers the beginning of the plans for the new Rogers Place Arena. He says 2007 was when then-mayor Stephen Mandel arranged for Lyle Best, director of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, to chair a task force to get planning underway. Jim Taylor has served five years on city council and then 16 years in his current position, he has been involved for a long time with Edmonton’s development. Looking back to 1995 the city was in a rock-bottom position as far as the downtown was concerned. Since then we have come to an historical high as far as dollars being invested in downtown development and in square footage being built.
Various incentives helped to slowly build up the downtown from those lows, but it wasn’t until need for a centrally-located arena for the Edmonton Oilers was put forth by visionaries as a way to ensure the team remained in the city that a dream begun that finally resulted in Rogers Place being built. After many delays over several years the shovels finally dug the ceremonial first dirt and work began in 2013.
“There were believers in the project, individuals like myself and councillors, but also developers who went ahead with five residential high-rises, the Icon I and II for example, which came on-stream in 2009 and 2010.” He adds. “ And that was before the Rogers Place Arena was even started.” The purchase and renovation of the century-old Mercer building on 104 street not only saved a piece of Edmonton’s history, but also provided an excellent location for several start-up businesses, coffee shops and taverns, studios and other services, opening in 2012. “It was people who believed in revitalizing Edmonton’s core and were willing to take a chance, even before the arena was done, who have contributed hugely.” States Taylor.
In the immediate area around Rogers Place is the Stantec Building, Edmonton’s tallest building at 250 meters and Canada’s seventh tallest.
The 104th avenue area between 111 street and 123 street is being further developed along the new valley LRT line, currently in its early construction phase. “ Adding to the vibrancy is the construction of the new MacEwan and Norquest campuses, which brings students to live and study in the area,” adds Taylor.