July 11, 2019 11:31 am
Updated: July 11, 2019 11:33 am

BMO Centre expansion continues during 2019 Calgary Stampede

WATCH ABOVE: The 2019 Calgary Stampede hasn't caused any pauses to the BMO Centre expansion. Doug Vaessen has a construction update from Stampede Park.

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The Calgary Stampede isn’t letting the $500-million BMO Centre expansion project get in the way of the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

Although the Calgary Stampede is underway until July 14, construction on the new hall at the Stampede Park facility remains underway.

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“We are moving as fast as we can and there was no way we could take this week off,” Jim Laurendeau, Vice President of Park Development for the Calgary Stampede, said. “We have to keep moving.”

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Construction on the project began in April and is scheduled to end by Stampede 2020.

It even forced Cowboys Dance Hall to find a new home for its party tent, but Laurendeau says it couldn’t be avoided. He said the construction of a new hall, which is estimated to cost $40 million, will allow the convention centre to operate during the entire five-year construction period.

“What we are doing here is adding about 100 thousand square feet of space,” He said. ” We call it ‘Hall F’ of the BMO Centre, which will be more of that consumer show space we are all familiar with.”

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Laurendeau said the construction has had minimal impact on the Calgary Stampede.

“The crew has done an amazing job of pre-loading the site with all the materials they need, so it’s just a matter of getting all of our workers here to assemble the trusses that go into the building.”

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The real challenge will come with the second phase of construction, which happens at the other end of the building.

“That is a critical piece of the work,” Laurendeau said. “Staying in business and keeping that great guest experience every day as people come to all the events over the next four or five years as we are in this construction project.”

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“When it’s completed, the building will be nearly a million square feet of consumer show and convention space. The height of the building likely to exceed the height of the Saddledome.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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