Rogers Place open house good test for upcoming events: Oilers Entertainment Group

Tens of thousands of people streamed into Rogers Place in downtown Edmonton for the new arena's open house. Saturday, September 10, 2016. Sarah Kraus, Global News

Nearly 60,000 people walked through the doors at Rogers Place Saturday for the arena’s free open house and by all accounts, the event was a success.

“It was great to see so many Edmontonians come down, so many Oilers fans come down and see it first hand,” Tim Shipton, Oilers Entertainment Group, said.

READ MORE: Rogers Place open house attracts tens of thousands of Edmontonians

For the Oilers Entertainment Group, the open house was more than an opportunity to allow the public to see the new downtown arena; it was a chance for staff to get ready for upcoming events.

Over 57,000 tickets were claimed for the free open house, held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Every 30 minutes, a new group of 4,000 people were let inside.

“To the see reaction being overwhelmingly positive was important, but on top of that, we have to test all the different facilities and all the different operations in this venue,” Shipton said.

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“So it was as important from a test perspective to put the building through it’s first big run through.”

READ MORE: By the numbers: how does Edmonton’s Rogers Place stack up against other NHL arenas?

The first true tests for Rogers Place will be the Keith Urban concert Friday night, Dolly Parton’s concert the following day and two Drake concerts next week.

“Get ready Edmonton, this building is going to come alive real soon,” Shipton said.

About 1,600 people have been hired at Rogers Place after over 18,000 job applications were submitted.

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