WATCH: Work for the downtown arena has been underway at a rapid pace. Vinesh Pratap takes us on a tour of the massive project.
EDMONTON – The media was invited to the top of the EPCOR Tower on Monday morning to get a bird’s-eye view of the progress that’s being made on Edmonton’s downtown arena.
The tower sits across the street from Rogers Place which is located at 101 Street and 104 Avenue.
“I truly believe that, because of the fact that it will be newest and the latest and greatest, it’s going to again set the bar,” said Dan Vaillant with Icon Venue Group, which also worked on Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Centre.
“When we opened that building, I think it was – if not the nicest arena in the league – one of the nicest arenas in the league.
“When this building finally does open up, it’s going to be the new standard for NHL teams to look at and compare to,” Vaillant added.
Construction of the arena started in early March, with completion expected for the start of the 2016/2017 NHL season.
“We have pressure to get it right for every project that we do, so we’ll treat this no different,” said PCL’s Mike Staines. “Do we have an enhanced sense of pride associated with a facility such as this, with the organizations that are involved? Absolutely, we do.”
The project was given official approval in February when a guaranteed maximum price tag of $480-million was met.
The guaranteed maximum price means PCL – the construction company behind the project – will bear all risk for cost increases in labour and materials throughout the project.
Officials say the project is currently both on budget and on schedule.
“We just have to make sure we stay on our game,” said Staines.
“We have great construction partners, we have really, really good, solid design and project management experience both within PCL, with ICON Venue working with 360 Architects. So we’re learning from one another as we go.”
Site area = 9.5 acres
Number of Levels = 7
Building height = 141 feet
Building area = 1,110,900 square feet
Seating capacity = hockey 18,641; concert stage = 20,734; small concert = 5,000
Seat width = 19-22 inches
The arena will also feature a centre-hung scoreboard that officials say will be the largest high definition arena scoreboard in the world.
In April, Rogers Place “Live View” was launched. “Live View” shows photos of the arena site from a construction camera which are updated every few seconds to provide a real-time look at the progress.