Edmonton Expo Centre

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Edmonton Expo Centre
YEGExpoCtr.svg
Edmonton Expo Centre logo
Edmonton Expo Center.jpg
Edmonton Expo Centre entrance
Former names Northlands Agricom (1984-2009)
Location Edmonton, Alberta
Coordinates 53°34′7″N 113°27′29″W / 53.56861°N 113.45806°W / 53.56861; -113.45806Coordinates: 53°34′7″N 113°27′29″W / 53.56861°N 113.45806°W / 53.56861; -113.45806
Owner Edmonton Economic Development Corporation
(City of Edmonton)
Type Conference centre
Capacity 5,527[1] (Hall D permanent seats)
24,000[2] (all rooms reception)
Construction
Built 1984
Expanded 2009
Website
edmontonexpocentre.com

The Edmonton Expo Centre, formerly the Northlands AgriCom and also known as the Edmonton Exposition and Conference Centre[3] is a multi-purpose exhibition centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Operated by Edmonton Economic Development Corporation on behalf of the City of Edmonton, it is located in Edmonton's Montrose neighbourhood, across the street from the (now closed) Northlands Coliseum.

History and use[edit]

The facility was built in 1984 on the site of the old Edmonton Gardens, the first home of the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers moved across 118 Avenue in 1974 to the new Northlands Coliseum. Prior to 2009, the EXPO Centre was known as the Northlands AgriCom, or simply The Agricom, from the agricultural and commercial trade shows which it was built to host.

From 1996 to 1998, a portion of the venue was used as the home arena of the Edmonton Ice of the Western Hockey League. It was considered a substandard venue for the team, which was prevented from using the nearby Coliseum; Edmonton Sun writer Terry Jones described the arena as being an "abomination of a building", "with the atrocious situation of a reasonable $13.50 ticket price but a $10 Northlands parking price to go with it." The team would subsequently re-locate to Kootenay.[4]

In December 2009, renovations were completed that doubled the facility's size to 522,000 sq ft (48,500 m2), which was expected to make it the largest such facility in Canada outside of Toronto. The additions included four new exhibition halls, and new conference areas (such as the Alberta Ballroom). The Alberta government contributed $50 million to the project, while the federal government contributed $25 million.[3][5] The city loaned $48 million.[6]

In February 2016, as part of the "Northlands Vision 2020" proposal, it was revealed that Northlands intended to add a 5,000-seat indoor arena to the Expo Centre for concerts and sporting events.[7] However, these plans were stalled by increasing debt owed by Northlands, as the construction of the downtown, city-owned Rogers Place had reduced the organization's revenues by attracting events away from Rexall Place (including the Edmonton Oilers).[6]

In July 2017, it was reported that Northlands had been in private discussions with the city over plans for the organization, and was considering a change in scope to focus on promoting agricultural innovation. These plans included proposals to shed the Coliseum, Northlands Park, and the Expo Centre.[8] On August 29, 2017, the city of Edmonton announced that it would take ownership of the Edmonton Expo Centre and forgive $42 million in debt. The venue's operations were merged with those of the downtown Shaw Conference Centre under the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation by January 1, 2018.[9] The Northlands Coliseum was similarly taken over by the city on the same day, although it also ceased operations.[10][11][12]

Facilities[edit]

Exposition areas[2]
Hall Square
Feet
Booth
Capacity
Reception
Capacity
A 53,262 274 2,500
B 58,104 301 3,000
C 77,472 413 4,000
D (arena) 53,410 325 3,500
(D) Sales Ring 8,990 65
E 53,836 253 2,500
F 39,156 181 2,000
G 29,328 138 1,800
H 36,126 178 2,000
Alberta Ballroom 16,677 1,200
Totals 417,371 2,063 22,500

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ticketmaster / Venue: Edmonton EXPO Centre
  2. ^ a b "Northlands: Capacity Chart". Archived from the original on 2009-12-12. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  3. ^ a b Bill Mah (2009-09-08). "Northlands dubs new facility Edmonton Expo Centre". Edmonton: Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on September 11, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  4. ^ Jones, Terry; Sun, Edmonton. "Ice the little franchise that could". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  5. ^ "Project Evolution.09: General Information". Archived from the original on 2008-04-27. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  6. ^ a b "City council wants answers before forgiving Northlands debt and approving redevelopment". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  7. ^ "Dan Barnes: Northlands isn't horsing around anymore; Vision 2020 plan is about evolution". Edmonton Journal. 2016-02-18. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  8. ^ "Convention centre merger to save Northlands still puts debt on Edmonton taxpayers". Edmonton Journal. 2017-06-27. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  9. ^ "Council votes to forgive Northlands' $47M debt, take over Expo Centre". Edmonton Journal. 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  10. ^ Stolte, Elsie (September 13, 2017). "Decision to shutter Northlands Coliseum means demolition on the table". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Northlands Coliseum will close permanently at end of this year". CBC News. September 13, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  12. ^ Kornik, Slav (September 13, 2017). "Edmonton's Northlands Coliseum closing its doors in January". Global News. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 

External links[edit]