Edmonton Expo Centre
The Edmonton Expo Centre, formerly the Northlands AgriCom and also known as the Edmonton Exposition and Conference Centre is a multi-purpose convention 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.
|Edmonton Expo Centre|
Edmonton Expo Centre entrance
|Address||7515 118 Avenue NW|
|Owner||Edmonton Economic Development Corporation|
(City of Edmonton)
|Opened||April 14, 1984|
|Northlands Agricom (1984–2009)|
|• Total space||522,000 sq ft (48,500 m2)|
|• Exhibit hall floor||400,694 sq ft (37,225.7 m2)|
|• Breakout/meeting||21,485 sq ft (1,996.0 m2)|
|• Ballroom||16,545 sq ft (1,537.1 m2)|
|Public transit access||Coliseum Station|
History and use
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.
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 centre named the Alberta Ballroom. The Alberta government contributed $50 million to the project, while the federal government contributed $25 million. The city loaned $48 million.
In February 2016, as part of the "Northlands Vision 2020" proposal, it was revealed that Northlands hoped to upgrade the existing arena to a more modern standard 5,000-seat indoor arena to the Expo Centre for concerts and sporting events. However, the 2016 opening of the new downtown arena Rogers Place, which replaced Northlands' Rexall Place as the home of Edmonton Oilers games and other major events, caused the organization to incur an increasing amount of debt due to lost event revenue.
In July 2017, it was reported that Northlands had been in private discussions with the city about its future. The organization intended to divest itself of Rexall Place, Northlands Park, and the Edmonton Expo Centre in order to focus on promoting agricultural innovation. 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 in 2018. The Northlands Coliseum was similarly taken over by the city on the same day, although it also ceased operations.
- "April 14, 1984: Agricom unveiled as Northlands showcase venue". Edmonton Journal. Edmonton. April 14, 2012. p. A2.
- 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.
- Jones, Terry; Sun, Edmonton. "Ice the little franchise that could". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
- "Project Evolution.09: General Information". Archived from the original on 2008-04-27. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- "City council wants answers before forgiving Northlands debt and approving redevelopment". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
- "Dan Barnes: Northlands isn't horsing around anymore; Vision 2020 plan is about evolution". Edmonton Journal. 2016-02-18. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
- "Convention centre merger to save Northlands still puts debt on Edmonton taxpayers". Edmonton Journal. 2017-06-27. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
- "Council votes to forgive Northlands' $47M debt, take over Expo Centre". Edmonton Journal. 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
- Stolte, Elsie (September 13, 2017). "Decision to shutter Northlands Coliseum means demolition on the table". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
- "Northlands Coliseum will close permanently at end of this year". CBC News. September 13, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
- Kornik, Slav (September 13, 2017). "Edmonton's Northlands Coliseum closing its doors in January". Global News. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
- "Edmonton professional basketball team announces name, logo". CTV News Edmonton. 2018-06-23. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
- "Edmonton EXPO Centre Capacity Chart" (PDF). Edmonton Expo Centre. Retrieved 2019-04-21.