CMLC reveals project team for Calgary’s new event centre

Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) has announced the Prime Design Consultant (PDC), Construction Management (CM) and specialty firms selected to lead the design and construction of Calgary’s new Event Centre, a catalyst in the organisation’s vision for Calgary’s Culture & Entertainment District.


DIALOG, a local multi-disciplinary design firm, and HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm, have come together as partners to create a world-class destination that will elevate the spectator, athlete and performer experience in Calgary, building on the potential of Rivers District Master Plan.


The DIALOG + HOK partnership blends local experience in leading the design of iconic Calgary projects like the Central Library and the new Cancer Centre; with international sports expertise in the design of notable projects including Little Caesars Arena (Detroit), Rogers Place (Edmonton), Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta), FC Barcelona New Palau Blaugrana Arena (Barcelona, Spain) and Etihad Arena (Abu Dhabi, UAE).


DIALOG + HOK were selected based on their combined relevant expertise for projects of this scale, thoughtful understanding of the guiding principles of the project and connection to how the Event Centre will contribute to, and fit within, the area supporting a vibrant Culture & Entertainment District.


HOK’s international sports expertise in the design of notable projects includes Little Caesars Arena. Image, courtesy: Pistons / NBA


To manage the complex construction delivery of the CAN$550m (US$401.5m) project, local construction firm CANA Management – which built the original Saddledome – partnered with Mortenson Construction have been selected for their in-depth local knowledge and vast experience in construction of sport and entertainment venues across North America, including Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Chase Center in San Francisco, Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and Seattle Center Arena.


Kate Thompson, President and CEO, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, said:

The Event Centre will be a year-round entertainment facility that will serve as an extraordinary civic amenity for Calgarians and visitors to enjoy for generations to come. First and foremost, we were looking for a team to work alongside us for the next five years, we’re confident in our selection of DIALOG + HOK and CANA + Mortenson based on their collective experience, capabilities and understanding to deliver a venue that demonstrates Calgary’s pride and spirit.


CMLC initiated the procurement process in January 2020 with a series of Request for Proposals (RFPs) to select the PDC team, CM team, and specialty consultants for structural, mechanical and electrical engineering. The process involved an evaluation committee comprised of CMLC, The City of Calgary and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) representatives to review and shortlist interested firms.


CSEC also owns the CFL’s Stampede, Western Hockey League’s Hitmen and National Lacrosse League’s Roughnecks.


The PDC RFP solicited interest from nine teams from across North America and was shortlisted to four teams to advance to interviews. DIALOG + HOK were selected by the project steering committee for their combined expertise and ability to lead the design in a complex urban environment. CANA + Mortenson were the successful recipient of the CM RFP, having proved their experience and capabilities among two other firms during the selection process. Speciality consultant teams required to support the structural, mechanical and electrical requirements for the project have been selected and include:


  • Structural engineering: Entuitive + Thornton Tomasetti

  • Electrical engineering: DIALOG + ME Engineers + Designcore

  • Mechanical engineering: Remedy + ME Engineers


John Bean, President and CEO, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, said:

As we move forward with the development of this facility, we are confident this project team brings the experience, leadership and ambition to realize the full potential of what the Event Centre provides Calgary. With their experience of large-scale sport and entertainment facilities, we know that Calgary’s new Event Centre will be a source of civic pride for many years to come.


To manage the complex construction delivery of the CAN$550m (US$401.5m) project, local construction firm CANA Management partnered with Mortenson Construction have been selected for their in-depth local knowledge and vast experience in construction of sport and entertainment venues across North America, including Xcel Energy Center and Chase Center (pictured)


Fundamental principles for the project describe not only the importance of a premiere sport and entertainment venue but a careful integration of how the facility fosters active community spaces surrounding the facility and integration into the vision for Calgary’s Culture & Entertainment District. The goal for the design of the Event Centre is to balance the needs and expectations of various sporting leagues, while providing the flexibility and adaptability to host a myriad of entertainment, cultural and commercial events. This project will serve as the anchor for the surrounding district with neighbouring amenities like the soon-to-be expanded BMO Centre.


Stuart Dalgleish, General Manager, Planning and Development, City of Calgary and Event Centre Steering Committee member, said:

The Event Centre is one of several significant infrastructure projects to which The City has made a significant city-building and financial commitment. The work these teams have been entrusted to do will contribute significantly to the Culture & Entertainment District and have a lasting impact on our city.


Fusing collaboration with expertise, the DIALOG + HOK team will provide diverse design thinking that will challenge assumptions, explore alternatives, and seek fresh opportunities.


Rob Adamson, Principal, DIALOG, said:

Our passion for collaboration and combined experience in providing state-of-the-art design solutions, backed by thorough technical sport and entertainment expertise will create an unparalleled visitor experience. Our design team is proud to have the capacity and experience to tailor the design of the Event Centre with the needs of Calgarians at the forefront. We are committed to this project team and look forward to working along side our partners to successfully deliver this project.


CANA + Mortenson plays a critical role in managing construction of the facility, as Fabrizio Carinelli, President, CANA Management outlined:

We are a proud partner on this project, we bring a team that understands these venues, the public spaces around them and the capacity to deliver it successfully.


Artist’s rendering of the new Stampede Trail, courtesy:


With the PDC and CM teams now in place, the firms will work on the concept design of the facility, considering the fundamental principles of the project set forth by The City of Calgary, CMLC and CSEC, aligning with the Rivers District Master Plan, Area Redevelopment Plan (ARP) and public engagement findings.


Construction of the Event Centre, which will become the new home of the NHL’s Calgary Flames replacing the 37-year-old Saddledome, is set to commence in August 2021, with completion slated for May 2024. The event centre is one phase of a revitalisation plan for the area along with the expansion of a convention centre on the Calgary Stampede grounds. The project cost will be shared 50-50 by the city and CSEC, with the city getting 100 percent ownership of the arena.


Sources: and


Image, courtesy:


#arena #NHL #sportsbiz #sportsentertainment #sportsindustry 


The next edition of ALSD International – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Sports Hospitality sector – is being hosted at the home of the newly crowned Premier League champions, Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield Stadium, October 12-13, and will examine how to increase revenue through new builds, renovations, service expansions and technology, and how to recoup lost revenue post COVID-19.



The 2020 edition of ALSD International – organised by the Association of Luxury Suite Directors and Sports Venue Business – will feature a high-level conference, an exhibition hall showcasing the latest products, services & solutions, tours of Anfield, Everton’s Goodison Park and M&S Bank Arena, and numerous networking events, ensuring optimised opportunities to knowledge-share, network and do business.


#ALSDInternational – Europe’s leading event for the Premium Seat & Sports Hospitality sector


#ALSD – Leading the Premium Seat sector for the last 30 years




#sportsvenuebusiness – The leading platform for sector news, views & developments

Share This Article

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.