Air Canada Centre Re-Opens Bigger And Better After Summer Hiatus

Ulmer: Expansion All About The Fans | Video: Inside The ACC ExpansionSeptember 11, 2009 -- Air Canada Centre, one of North America’s premier sports and entertainment venues, officially re-opened on Friday following a 10-week summer hiatus that began June 17 to complete the last phase of the arena’s $48 million renovation and revitalization.

The two-year revitalization project expanded Air Canada Centre's west side to include a new major entrance (located off of Bremner Boulevard), new retail areas and additional concession stands, all located in the new multi-level spacious Atrium. The Atrium is also the new home to an interactive High-Definition studio for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s three networks, Leafs TV, Raptors NBA TV and GOLTV.

“We’re dedicated to providing an exciting fan experience combining great hospitality, service and value for every guest that comes to Air Canada Centre whether they are attending a sports event or concert,” said Robert Hunter, executive vice-president of venues and entertainment for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “The two-year revitalization is an investment in our facility to ensure it remains state-of-the-art and is a commitment to our fans and industry partners.”

Upgrades inside the arena include a full replacement of the current signage panels to digital signage, an upgrade of all food, beverage and retail concessions and further investments in the security program throughout the venue as well as an expanded and renovated Ice Box Bar on the 300-level concourse. A new automated arena seat conversion system will add incremental capacity to the lower bowl and significantly reduce mode conversion times.

Air Canada Centre’s concourse signage program will provide a new level of digital fan interaction and dynamic brand messaging. The $3 million digital signage platform is designed create an engaging and memorable media experience from the moment a fan enters the facility with over 300 High Definition monitors positioned on the 100 and 300-level concourses. The monitors will work in sequence to offer partners with near concourse dominance while providing an integration of live game feed and exciting team content drawing a new level of fan attention and interaction.

As part of the expansion a covered glass bridge will connect Air Canada Centre to Maple Leaf Square, a sports entertainment and residential development presently under construction. Maple Leaf Square is the largest mixed-use project to be constructed in Toronto since the Eaton Centre was built in 1977. Upon completion in 2010, Maple Leaf Square's public square will play host to tailgate parties and pre-and-post event celebrations in an open air environment within full view of the Square's new 30 x 50 foot outdoor High-Definition Mitsubishi Display.

Air Canada Centre celebrated its 10th anniversary and recognized a decade of excellence in February 2009. Since opening in 1999, Air Canada Centre has hosted more than 27 million fans at over 2,000 events. Air Canada Centre has consistently remained among the top five global arenas in the entertainment business, recognized with more than 25 industry awards.

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