Sports

Renovations start at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena

Symbolically smashing a sledgehammer into a piece of drywall on Tuesday, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment CEO Keith Pelley says renovations to Scotiabank Arena have begun.

“It’s about to get so much better,” Pelley said Tuesday.

MLSE is calling it a re-imagining of the 25-year-old home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors. It marks the beginning of a renovation that will show big changes in the main 100-level concourse, aimed at creating a new experience for fans.

Nick Eaves, Chief Venues and Operations Officer with MLSE says, “The philosophy is to allow the fan to immerse herself or himself in this arena. The minute they come in, through whichever door they come through.”

Fans entering the arena will be greeted by large screens showcasing Leafs hockey, or Raptors basketball. There will be different lighting for hockey, basketball and concerts. The renovation will include different food options along with more retail space. Eaves says it is designed to be tailored specifically to the event taking place that night.

“So it’s really beginning that experience for the fans before they get to their seats for whatever event they come to,” he says.

A rendering of the Scotiabank renovations can be seen above. (MLSE)

Beyond the concourse, there will also be a new restaurant called the Tunnel Club, where patrons can watch players walk into the arenaa, located on the event level, along with a renovated hot stove lounge for those in the more expensive seats.

There will be no changes to the main bowl for seating like there was at the Rogers Centre just down the road.

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A rendering of the Tunnel Club provided by MLSE can be seen above. (MLSE)

This renovation is phase two of a three-phase plan with a total cost of $350 million dollars. Phase one was completed last off-season, and phase two is expected to be mostly complete by October when the Leafs and Raptors begin their seasons. So, in order to have the project complete by Opening day next fall, crews will have to work very quickly. So when the Leafs lost, construction began.

Marc Pascoli senior VP at PCL Construction says “We are going to be working six days a week as a fast-track project to deliver the product.”

The work will also be done while events are taking place as the current event schedule is not expected to be interrupted. Scotiabank Arena is slated to hold over 25 concerts this summer, making the fan experience much different over those months.

Pelley says, “It will prove to be a little bit challenging this summer for some of the concerns.”

Phase three is expected to focus on the upper 300 level, but as of right now has no timeline for the part of the project to begin.  

A rendering of the Scotiabank renovations can be seen above. (MLSE)

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