Westerner Park celebrated the completion of the ENMAX Centrium expansion project this past Thursday.
The recent expansion offers 13 more luxury suites, a 40-seat club suite and an additional 1,000 seats added to the existing 6,000-seat facility. There is also a new kitchen in the lower level, new washrooms in the Parkland Pavilion and an upgraded mechanical system to improve airflow.
According to the President of Westerner Park Kent Olson, the mission at Westerner Park is to provide premier facilities and services for trade, agriculture, sports and entertainment, conferences and meetings that will generate economic benefits for all of Central Alberta.
Westerner Park does not stand alone, officials say. Partners with Westerner Park in this $5.5 million project included the Province of Alberta’s Community Facility Enhancement Program, the City of Red Deer and Red Deer County.
This project has been in the works for the past five years. It was in May of 2008 that the board of directors approved the strategic development plan that outlined a new vision acting as a blueprint for Westerner Park’s growth over the next four years.
In 2009 the first and second phases of the strategic development plan were completed with the opening of several new facilities and outdoor spaces.
Approximately one year ago a groundbreaking ceremony of the ENMAX Centrium expansion was held and now that project is complete.
“Today I am proud to be here so that we can celebrate the successful completion of the project,” said Olson. “The successful completion of the first three phases of the strategic development plan has greatly enhanced our guests’ onsite experience, providing them with opportunities to enjoy even more world class events,” he said.
John Harms, CEO and general manager of Westerner Park, said that while the project took longer than anticipated to complete, the board of directors and staff of Westerner Park are excited to see the final result.
“We are confident that visitors to the ENMAX Centrium will be thrilled with the expansion.”
The staff from Westerner Park estimate that this expansion will allow for the addition of four major concerts per year, with a 7,000 plus seating capacity.
“The expansion will have significant economic impact on Central Alberta in attracting national and international events to Westerner Park. Westerner Park is an integral part of what makes Red Deer and Central Alberta an exciting place for people to live, to do business and to visit,” said Olson. “As a community, we can take pride in continuing to work together to make our region the best it can possibly be.”
Westerner Park is Central Alberta’s largest tradeshow, agricultural, sports, entertainment and convention facility and is more than just an arena.
“An arena is much more than a building. It is the heart of a community. It offers us a place to celebrate our sporting achievements and gather for social events,” said Brenda Johnson who spoke on behalf of MLA for South Red Deer Cal Dallas.
“Whether we are children dragging our hockey gear behind us or parents clutching our cup of hot chocolate and watching from the crowd, an arena gives us a communal place to call home.”
There is more to come according to Olson. There will be expanded exhibition and conference spaces and facility upgrades to the Stockmens Pavilion in the future.