Just a few steps from Rogers Place, another opening was recently celebrated – that of the new downtown offices of the Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG).
“We plan on growing this brand in Edmonton,” says Bob Nicholson, the CEO and vice-chair of OEG.
Nicholson was previously the president of Hockey Canada. In June 2014, he came to Edmonton to head up the new company, which falls under the Katz Group banner.
But the focus has expanded beyond hockey.
“We… have a global focus,” says Bob Black with the Edmonton Arena Corporation.
Watch below: Global News coverage of the opening of Rogers Place
In April 2015, Hollywood was added to the mix with the formation of Silver Pictures Entertainment.
This past February, OEG announced what’s described as a strategic partnership with Live Nation Canada, an event promoter.
“We’ll be looking at sports properties,” says Nicholson. “Right now, we’ve already reached into the restaurant business. We’re going to look at everything with entertainment and sport.
In Edmonton, that focus on entertainment and sport will extend beyond of the walls of the arena.
“We needed to make sure we had this Ice District so we could attract people for other events,” says Nicholson.
Ice District is the private development to the south of Rogers Place that will feature an outdoor plaza public space surrounded by retail, hospitality and office towers.
“We can do events in this Ice District for 14,000 people,” says Nicholson.
As the ambitions of the company has grown, so has its staff count. Last year, there were just over 100 employees. Today, there are about 1,600 full and part time staff and contractors.
OEG’s new offices, located on the two floors above the Grand Villa Edmonton Casino, is home to about 250 of those employees.