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Edmonton’s new Rogers Place arena garners praise for its iconic design


February 21, 2017
by Canadian Architect

Image courtesy of Ice District JV

Image courtesy of Ice District JV

Since opening in September 2016, the $480-million, city-owned Rogers Place arena in downtown Edmonton has exceeded performance expectations with record attendance while garnering praise for its iconic design.

All home games to date for the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers have sold out and the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings experienced their largest-ever attendance with a sell-out on opening night. Attendance for community events and concerts has also surpassed expectations. In just two months, the venue has hosted more than 500,000 guests. The arena has a capacity of 18,347 for hockey and 20,147 for concerts. Pollstar recently nominated it as the industry’s Best New Major Concert Venue.

Image courtesy of Ice District JV

Image courtesy of Ice District JV

HOK, in association with ATB and DIALOG, was commissioned by the city of Edmonton and the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers to design the new arena and to oversee the master plan of an adjacent mixed-use district and plaza, ICE District. The arena and district represent a significant reinvestment in the city fabric by the Oilers Entertainment Group.

The team designed Rogers Place as a 365-day-a-year destination that reimagines traditional arena architecture by balancing functionality with a unique design. The arena’s curvilinear architecture, which bridges the arena and ICE District across 104th Street, is aesthetically striking and practical for pedestrians. Ford Hall, a 25,000-sq.-ft., naturally lit, grand atrium space that serves as an entrance to Rogers Place, provides a distinct community gathering space that is enhanced by Tsa Tsa Ke K’e (Iron Foot Place), a 45-foot circular mosaic designed by world-renowned Canadian artist Alex Janvier.

The 1.1-million-sq.-ft. arena features the NHL’s largest high-definition scoreboard, which is 46-by-46 feet, as well as more than 1,200 HDTVs. Seating options include 3,100 club seats, 900 PCL Loge seats, 500 drink rail seats, 300 ozone club seats, 57 Scotiabank executive suites, 24 theatre boxes, three clubs, two club lounges and Curve, a full-service restaurant.

Image courtesy of Ice District JV

Image courtesy of Ice District JV

In addition to driving the revitalization of Edmonton’s downtown core, Rogers Place will help set a new standard for sustainability in arena design. Expected to be Canada’s first LEED Silver-certified NHL arena, the facility will use 37 per cent less water and 14 per cent less energy than conventionally designed venues. The design team, PCL Construction and other project partners ensured that more than 87 per cent of construction debris was recycled or reused and 20 per cent of all construction materials were derived from recycled content. OEG has also committed to cutting down on food waste, with prepared but unserved food being donated to the local food bank.

ICE District, which was brought to life by HOKDIALOGShugarman Architecture + Design, WAM Development and Hariri Pontarini Architects, will span 25 acres and is scheduled to be fully built out by 2019-2020. It will be Canada’s largest mixed-use sports and entertainment district and includes private development, office development, residential units and parking spaces.

“The arena and the adjacent ICE District currently under construction are milestone projects that won’t just shape Edmonton, but will also influence the way communities across the world approach the use of a sports and entertainment anchor venue in developing successful mixed-use districts,” said Ryan Gedney, an HOK vice president and senior project designer for Rogers Place.