Oilers Entertainment Group settles in to downtown Edmonton

Click to play video 'What is the Oilers Entertainment Group?' What is the Oilers Entertainment Group?
WATCH ABOVE: All week we've been looking at Rogers Place. The arena is home to the Oilers and the team is owned by what's known as the Oilers Entertainment Group. Up until a couple of years ago, OEG didn't even exist. Vinesh Pratap has more on what it's all about – Sep 9, 2016

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.

OEG owns three hockey teams – the Edmonton Oilers, the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings and the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.  The company will operate the new city-owned downtown arena.

READ MORE: Rogers Place arena opens in downtown Edmonton to great fanfare

But the focus has expanded beyond hockey.

“We… have a global focus,” says Bob Black with the Edmonton Arena Corporation.

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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.

READ MORE: Oilers Entertainment Group makes deal to bring major concerts to new downtown arena

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.

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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.

READ MORE: Ice District tower takes shape, occupancy questions remain

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.