The Scotiabank Arena is undergoing a massive transformation and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) recently unveiled the work that was completed over the summer and provided a sneak peak of upcoming renovations.
The Scotiabank Arena Venue Reimagination project, which includes an investment of more than $350 million, will include multi-phase renovations featuring improvements to almost all areas within the venue including concourses, suites, premium clubs, retail spaces, food and beverage offerings as well as technological innovation.
The facility, which is home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors and a number of live events, will celebrate its 25th anniversary in February.
The project is being completed in collaboration with Brisbin, Brook, Beynon Architects, DesignAgency, owner’s representative firm CAA ICON and PCL Construction. Brisbin, Brook, Beynon Architects and PCL Construction originally led the design and construction of the venue which opened in February 1999.
Nick Eaves, chief venues and operations officer with MLSE, said over the summer work was completed on the 200 Level Mastercard Executive Suites.
“The focus of that project was a brand new product called the Mastercard lounge over in the southwest corner where we used to have 15 or 16 traditional suites,” said Eaves. “We’ve created this 200-plus member social space where members have their dedicated seat at the front where the traditional suite seats used to be, but they’ve got their own members lounge in behind.”
All 46 of the traditional suites on the 200 Level were also renovated with new finishes, new technology and vaulted ceilings to expand the viewing area of the bowl.
In addition, MLSE, in partnership with Amazon, added two concession marketplaces with Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology in two locations on the 100 and 300 levels.
“You tap your credit card to get into the space, you grab all of your arena favourites and then you just walk out,” Eaves explained.
According to MLSE, an all-encompassing design makeover of the 100 Level concourse will begin following the conclusion of the 2023-24 Maple Leafs and Raptors seasons, along with the construction of new spaces within the walls of the arena.
“What we’re really excited about are the future phases, including next summer where we are going to be renovating this entire 100 Level Concourse…and ultimately other projects after that,” said Eaves.
The concourse is original to when the building opened in 1999.
“We’re going to use technology in ways that will really amplify what is going on inside this arena,” Eaves noted.
They are also making the arena more accessible and inclusive.
“We’ll have some gender-neutral washrooms, we’re creating safe and reflective spaces for fans to be able to go to at different times of the day if they need that,” Eaves said. “The whole idea is for it to be bright, open and really use temporary modern finishes to begin to tell the story of this 25-year-old arena.”
The Molson Brewhouse will also be renovated “to capitalize on the beautiful old post office building finishes that are on that side of the arena but also bringing the contemporary finishes from the renovation, creating new social and gathering spaces that don’t really exist anywhere on this 100 Level concourse,” said Eaves.
They are also going to expand the retail footprint in the building.
“Ours is one of the smallest footprints across any of the leagues that we play in so we’re going to significantly expand the real estate for Real Sports Apparel,” Eaves noted. “We’re going to create a second store.”
They will also be renovating the Hot Stove restaurant on the 200 level.
“We’re redoing the bar area at the front and creating a beautiful lounge space just in behind,” Eaves said. “We’re adding a new access point, a new entrance from the galleria out front up at the top of the escalator where you can come into the Hot Stove lounge from that exterior space.”
Also part of phase two next summer will be a new Tunnel Club concept on the Event Level where members will get an up-close view of players entering the bowl from the locker room while they dine..
The second phase will begin next summer.
“That work will continue through what will still be a busy concert season next summer and it will spill into the start of the 2024/2025 seasons,” said Eaves. “That’s not the end of things. We’ll be looking at other areas like the 300 Level concourse…a bunch of our back of house spaces where our artists come. The live music part of business has grown significantly and we need to create spaces that can accommodate those tours and those artists.”
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