BMO Centre’s $500 million expansion reaches substantial completion on time and on budget


CaDCR staff

After four years of dedicated construction efforts, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and the Calgary Stampede have announced the substantial completion of the BMO Centre expansion, moving the project into its final stages of operational readiness ahead of its grand opening in June.

“As development manager for this transformative project, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation is proud to have delivered the BMO Centre expansion on schedule and on budget,” Kate Thompson, CMLC’s President and CEO said in a statement. “This is a major accomplishment for CMLC and our partners, and a huge step toward achieving our vision for a vibrant and active Culture and Entertainment District.

“The expanded BMO Centre is second to none in its design architecture and functionality, and sets a new precedent for convention facilities. We are thrilled to hand over the keys to the newly expanded BMO Centre to the Calgary Stampede team as they prepare to operationalize the building in advance of its grand opening this June.”

With over two million construction hours and contributions from nearly 5,000 tradespeople, including demolition crews, steelworkers, drywall installers, and electrical and mechanical teams, the BMO Centre expansion stands as a testament to collaborative effort and commitment to excellence. At more than 565,000 sq. ft. of new space, 10,000 metric tonnes of steel, and 2.4 million sq. ft. of drywall, the expanded BMO Centre is now western Canada’s largest convention centre.

“The BMO Centre expansion project has been years in the making for the Calgary Stampede, from first questioning ‘Should we expand?’ to considering ‘What would an expansion look like?’ to then involving our development partners in making it happen. To reach this substantial completion milestone is monumental, as our team will now work to operationalize the building in preparation of welcoming the world to the BMO Centre at Stampede Park in just under 90 days,” said Joel Cowley, Calgary Stampede CEO. “The impact that the expanded BMO Centre will have on the Calgary Stampede and on Calgary’s tourism, convention and hospitality sector cannot be overstated. We have already seen great interest in the expanded BMO Centre and now have more than 100 incremental events booked through 2030.”

In preparation for its operation as a 1-million-plus-square-foot facility, the Calgary Stampede team will soon begin loading in furniture, dishes, cutlery, and catering equipment to the tune of 6,500 stacking chairs, 600 round banquet tables, 500 rectangular tables, 7,680 table forks and knives, and 6,200 dinner plates.

With the opening of the BMO Centre expansion, Calgary will now have a Tier 1 Convention centre, which allows the city to compete for larger meetings and convention business. It also furthers Calgary’s position as a thriving and dynamic hub for trade and tourism, advancing the city’s economic resilience and status on the world’s stage.

The $500 million expansion will more than double the centre’s capacity for conferences, meetings and events. Across the expansion and existing facilities, the BMO Centre will be able to host up to 33,000 guests at once.


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