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Updated: 2nd December 2019 14:00 Calgary

Calgary Stampede economic spinoff to surge with BMO Centre expansion, says report

The Calgary Stampede says its expanded BMO Centre is projected to spur $223 million annually in economic activity in the province, according to calculations done by the Conference Board of Canada.

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'The economic impact will grow dramatically'

A rendering shows the proposed expansion to the BMO Centre in Calgary. (Calgary Stampede)

The Calgary Stampede says its expanded BMO Centre is projected to spur $223 million annually in economic activity in the province, according to calculations done by the Conference Board of Canada.

"Annually, the Stampede hosts more than 1,200 world-class business, tourism, sporting, hospitality and community events. With the expansion of BMO Centre into a Tier 1 conference facility now underway, these numbers and the economic impact will grow dramatically," said Stampede president and board chair Dana Peers in a release.

Officials commissioned the report in advance of the expansion to serve as a benchmark against the project's expected impact, the Stampede said.

It predicted that the construction project would generate $497 million in economic activity for Canada, with $402 million of that staying in Alberta.

The report also assessed the annual economic impact of Stampede activities in Calgary at $540 million for the provincial economy, with the 10-day Stampede responsible for $282.5 million of that. 

The Stampede's year-round events contribute about $110.9 million to Calgary's GDP, the board says.

Work on the first phase of the BMO Centre expansion is expected to be finished by June 2020.

The second phase is set to begin in late 2020, with completion expected in 2024, by which time it will have nearly one million square feet of floor space.

The BMO Centre is already the largest convention centre in the city. But its current size of 500,000 square feet limits which conventions it can accept.

"The numbers provided by the Conference Board of Canada are a great story for the community," said Peers.

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