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Calgary Stampede prepares for potential BMO Centre expansion

BMO Centre expansion
WATCH: The Calgary Stampede is looking at potentially expanding the BMO Centre. Doug Vaessen has details.

CALGARY – The Calgary Stampede is preparing plans for a proposed expansion which would see the busy BMO Centre double in size.

The BMO centre, home of annual events like Calgary International Beerfest and the Bridal Expo, is already a whopping 270,000 square feet.

Stampede CEO Warren Connell says although expensive, the project would help make Calgary an international destination for conferences, trade shows and conventions.

“The last few BMO Centre expansions have been in the $50 to $60 million range, so we are actually talking about just shy of half a billion dollars to double the size of the BMO Centre,” Connell said.

“The last expansion was in 2010, and we’re currently running at about a 73 per cent utilization rate,” Connell added. “That compares to a Canadian average of 58 percent for tier one and tier two cities, so we’re busy.”

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Officials with the Calgary Stampede anticipate they’ll be able to unveil official expansion plans within the next few months, with the project potentially starting before the year is through.

It’s anticipated the project would create some 1,800 construction jobs and add 500 full-time positions to the Calgary Stampede.

– With files from Doug Vaessen