The Calgary Stampede Grandstand Building is an iconic landmark on Stampede Park, which has been hosting guests from around the world since 1974. As the official home of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and Evening Show, among various other community events, many memories have been made in this familiar space.

But as time wears on and the building gets older, the Calgary Stampede decided it was time to update the space, with Calgary Stampede guests and their experience in the building top of mind.

“The Grandstand Building refresh is about showcasing what we have to offer guests,” says Cheryl Skorpack, Project Manager, Event Operations & Guests Services at the Calgary Stampede. “We have a world-class event, so the question became, how do we make the Grandstand Building feel like a world-class building again? We want to impress our guests and make them feel valued; we want to make a space where our guests will want to continue to come back to time and time again,” adds Skorpack.

The project will take place in three phases over the course of the next five years, but the project has already begun on the main level of the building. Guests at the 2019 Calgary Stampede will be the first to see the forward-thinking updates that will make the space more welcoming, lively and intuitive.

Here’s what you can expect to notice the next time you visit the Grandstand Building:

More open space

The idea behind the Grandstand Building refresh is to break down barriers—literally. As a part of the renovation, various walls and dividers have been removed from the main level of the Grandstand Building, creating a more open feeling in the space and an improved ease of access for guests to enter and move around the main floor.

As a part of this, stroller and coat check areas will now be located in the Grandstand Courtyard, instead of the Grandstand Building concourse, freeing up more space for guests navigating around the Grandstand main level and creating a friendlier experience for those checking strollers and coats.

A number of employee and back-of-house areas have also been relocated to cut down on the non-guest traffic in the building.

A now open main level of the Grandstand Building.

Brighter colours, better wayfinding

A friendlier experience can be as simple as a fresh coat of paint and clearer signage! As such, new signs were installed on the first level of the Grandstand Building with a bigger, bolder font and bright colours to help guests find the way to their seats and other attractions within the building. When the project is finished, each tower and level of the building will have a unique colour as an identifier.

Grandstand wayfinding concept, with bolder fonts and brighter colours.

An enhanced food, beverage and shopping experience

Guests can expect to experience an added sense of western hospitality on the main level of the Grandstand Building this upcoming Stampede, with an enhanced food, beverage and shopping experience.

Some retailers have been relocated to more convenient locations on the Grandstand main floor. The look of retailers and food and beverage vendors will also have an updated look, with fresh, new branding. Guests will also find Stampede-favourites, such as Lemon Heaven lemonade, Cin City Donuts and gourmet popcorn available for purchase.

Also new, there will be a premium beer and food outlet, with glass-paneled beer fridges to showcase the nine premium beer options; four separate line ques for optimized wait times; digital menus and a modern look and feel. The premium vendor will also sell AAA Alberta Beef sandwiches, among other snacks. The space will also feature seating along the perimeter of the bar area and TV screens to take in the action happening at the Rodeo and Evening Show.

Rendering of the vision for the main level of the Grandstand Building.

Complimentary Bell Wifi

To create an exceptional guest experience, the Grandstand Building has also been upgraded with new, complimentary Wifi from our partners at Bell Canada. Guests can now stay connected and share their Stampede experience from the comfort of their Grandstand seats and throughout the entire building.

At the Calgary Stampede, we are always looking for new ways to be innovative and make a big first impression on our guests. One of the ways we do this is by listening to our guests. Many of the updates and changes that will be made in the Grandstand over the next five years were inspired by the direct feedback we have received from our guests.

This upcoming July, we invite you to come experience the changes we’ve made in the Grandstand for yourself!