New agriculture building for Stampede

Year-round The centre replaces an aging facility that can only be used from spring to fall

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The Calgary Stampede has officially turned sod to launch the construction of the new Agrium Western Event Centre.

This is the second time a new agriculture building has been planned to replace the existing aging livestock and sale facilities which are more than 50 years old. About eight years ago a plan was hatched to use $35 million from the sale of the Stampede Casino to build a new agriculture facility in the centre of the racetrack. That plan included a joint arrangement with Olds college for a Calgary campus. That concept was later abandoned. The new plan does not include Olds College, but it has expanded into a $60 million facility.

The new Agrium Western Event Centre will be the largest facility of its kind in Canada. At 150,000 square feet the facility will increase the available agriculture space for holding year-round events at Stampede Park. Events are currently hosted from spring until fall, and this year-round arena will expand the number and type of agriculture-related and other events offered in Calgary.

The facility will include the main arena, with 2,500 spectator seats, a show arena floor measuring 125 feet by 250 feet, and generous concourse space. The centre also features an exhibition hall and a 20,000-square foot, clear-span space.

The Governments of Canada and Alberta each committed up to $25 million toward the revitalization of agriculture buildings on Stampede Park, for which the total overall cost is $60 million. Most of this amount was dedicated to the construction of the new Agrium Western Event Centre.

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