McMahon Stadium

Drove by last week going to and coming home from a meeting and saw the old dump. Haven't been inside for about 3-4 years, a buddy of mine and I used to go to 3 or 4 Stamps games a year, and I think I saw every one of nephew's home games when he was with the Dinos. It's really a pitiful place for a professional team to be playing, particularly in a city like Calgary. Anyone know if there are any plans to do anything to bring it up to or at least close to modern standards? Plans for reno's and improvements having been kicked around for years - even decades - but nothing ever seems to happen. It's apalling when you see what's happening elsewhere in the league.

The internal facilities for players are great...recently renovated and top notch. Everything else is bad though...worst concourse / washroom access in the league IMO.

There was talk about spending 450mil on a new stadium with retractable roof about 3 years ago. There has been talk of serious upgrades or replacement for a few years, but it is in the early stages. As these new stadiums start popping up I have no doubt that Calgary will follow.

It is amazing to me that the great city of Calgary has not lead the charge in new stadiums.

I did stumble on this link a while back...lists CFL list.

I don’t mind McMahon. East side stands in the sun will always be a great memory. Lots of green space around. Train right across Crowchild. I can’t really see the problem. Yes, it isn’t brand new like all the other stadiums, but it isn’t terrible either.

Looks good on TV though, football specific stadium all the way. Never been there but have driven past it. Looked ok, maybe just needs some upgrading over the next few years?

the game experience itself is is the amenities that kill it. Like 1 level of washrooms and concessions for what...15k people. Overall I have no problems with anything at the stadium, it is simply the lack of service for potential volume. Tough to add a full level for services, but I suppose it could be done...I would think that by the time you start doing that extensive of a reno that you need to consider simply building a new stadium...tough spot to be in, because the actually viewing portion and stands are ok.

Calgary needs to bid on some significant summer sporting event to help justify the expense of either major reno or new stadium. The other consideration is location...yeah, they could relocate, but the stadium is in a pretty handy spot. It would be tight, but they could probably sacrifice much of the parking lot for 2 years and build side by side. To do this they may have to install services and build one side, rip down the existing East stands at end of season, then build the new East side in that spot. Doing this would be a bit painful for parking, but at least the rail is located nicely. If you started the services in spring 1, followed by the East side, didn't play at home for the last month of the year, and started on the West it might be doable by the end of July year 2. This is of course if they don't do a dome/retractable, which I would think they would. That said, Calgary probably has good enough weather that they could install the roof in the winter of the 2nd year of construction, into the 3rd.

To ease logistics of parking, perhaps they university could be enticed to transform their parking lot on the north end of the stadium area into a Parkade...they could use it anyways.


My prediction: In a few years, the Calgary ownership announces a major sports and entertainment project that depends on government money. The project includes a new hockey arena for the Flames and new stadium for the Stampeders. Also part of the project will be a proposed NASL soccer team to make it a multi-use facility.

Need to replace the benches with proper seats, widen/rebuild the concourses and add more concessions and bathrooms, maybe revisit the previous plans to add an upper deck on one or both sides. Also I think a party deck/patio in fron of the red and white club might be a decent idea. But how many million$ and who would pay?

Hahaha, worst amneities.
I hope that is only now that Canad Inns is no longer a CFL stadium, because no way was Calgary worse then Canad Inns for a lot of that stuff.
I'll give it to you now though considering it's a competition between SSK and CGY for worst stadium.

But I remember hearing talk of the Flames planning(quietly) to replace Saddledome and they do own the Stamps so it would make sense they would want to replace both at the same time, try to get some sort of mega complex like the Oilers are trying down the road.

Although IMO a roof would be a horrible idea, Calgary will have the ability to see how Investors group field(Winnipeg) turns out and what the Riders start building and basically build someting in the same spirit as those two. Something in that 35K range, sunken bowl, partially covered with lot's(at least 40) of luxury boxes.

It doesn't sound like the new Calgary facilities would be soon though... maybe 2020... well hopefully by 2020.

Well I’ve been in the one of the luxury boxes at McMahon…cramped, way too high up etc. Better facilities at some WHL venues. McMahon has always had great sightlines but not much else. It’s easy to get to/from, right along the CTrain. I think the place could be salvaged for the modern age but it’s gonna cost a lot of $$$$…and no idea who would be willing to pay. Just a d***ed shame no one/group in Calgary will step up to fix the problem. New/renovated stadia for Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Hamilton, Regina…Edmonton is putting in new seats…but not Calgary. Just sad.

McMahon may benefit from what is being done in Ottawa. Replacing on grandstand with all the modern Ammenities suites and club boxes in a modern set up. Pna am although it will be brand new the visitors side will just be two levels of regular seating wiht the home side having the Suites and Club boxes. Possibly also relpacing the seating on the remaining grandstand as a second step but does need to have at least one grand stand with up to date modern amenities to go along with the fantastic new locker room and workout facilities for botth the dinos and stamps

The problem with renovating / replacing McMahon is that it'll significantly impact (or eliminate) the best part about football in Calgary.... tailgating. Without a doubt Calgary has the best tailgating in the league (before the game AND at halftime). IMO, the ONLY reason they let us out of the stadium at half time is because there isn't enough room in the concourse for everyone (try telling the security at BC Place, Rogers Centre, the Saddledome, etc that you're running out to your car for a bit and will we right back). Obviously, they'll want to keep everyone inside - spending money at the shiny new concessions - which I can't blame them for. :frowning:

I have never been to McMahon so I can't really comment except to say that on TV during the Grey Cup it looked like extra bleachers were a mile away from the action and looked very much like the temporary seats they are, which is to say not very attractive.

Calgary is one of the leading cities in Canada and its star is rising internationally. Within a decade or two it will be even more important as a showcase city for Alberta and Canada. Investments need to be made to reflect its growing significance. Outward impressions count for a lot when trying to attract major investment capital and high quality, talented people. You simply can't get by for long with run down, neglected and outdated and inadequate facilities.

Since there is really nothing they can do about the size of the concourse is there room to have a larger concession area enclosed behind the end zones where there could be more room adding additional wash room facilities and make it like a food court area. This way not everyone will have to crowd into the small concourse area but can have a modern roomy concession and wash room area. Perhaps with different resturant chains renting space in the food court such as a Wendy's or a Tim Hortons and others.

The biggest mistake they made when they expanded McMahon the first time (in the late '70's) is they made the newly expanded upper sections way too steep and narrow. The rows in the original structure (rows 1-50 approx) are fine - most seats between the goal lines have individual seating and great sight-lines. It's rows 51+ that cause all the problems. They're all bench seating and they're too steep and narrow to have individual seats (plus they're pretty far away). $100 says if they do a major renovation to McMahon they'll blast out the entire 1970's upper section of seats. Then, they'd be able to build new suites quite a bit closer to the field (making them significantly more valuable). To make up for the lost seating, they could build a new tier above the relocated suites or create a bowl in the South endzone.

As for the concorse, they could easily expand the concourses outward into the parking lot. If they did that, it would be quite easy to reconfigure the existing space and make it MUCH better. All they would have to do is rip out the existing washrooms and concessions and push them outward.

In the end it will all come down to how much $$$ they want to spend on the old girl. Actually, it is a very well maintained building BUT there's no question its showing its age.

Also one of the biggest problems is that the land (and stadium) is owned and operated by the U of C, so getting their approval for any reno's is another hurdle that the team must clear before they can think of doing anything.

The Stadium is on the DInos cmapus but isn't it run by the McMahon Stadium Society a non profit group. I am not sur that the new renovations to the locker room and new training facilities for both the Stamps and Dinos were not paid for by the University I do not think. It is more of a community stadium with the Colts also playing there.

Actually that is a very great idea. If the rows 1-50 are fine then there would be no need to replace them.
Even if it was done with only one side of the stadium removing the 51+ section and replacing it with proper modern Suites and Club boxes at least for one side of the stadium. Again similar to Landsdowne where only 1/2 of the stadium had to be replaced with suites and boxes only on that one side. McMahon would only have to do it to a quarter of of the stadium. and really do up that 1/4 of the stadium right with huge concourse as well.
On the opposite side could stay the same and that second level seats 51+ would be the cheap seats and you get what yo pay for kind of thing but with Modern first class suites and club boxes would draw a much larger revenue stream.
As fro the small Concourse on the old side an open are space could be enclosed on both end of the grandstands where more wahroom and concession area can be added.

A lot of stadiums and additions from the 70’s have proven to be terrible so replacing the bad 70’s expansion may be in the best interest especially with the ultra modern locker room and training facilities that have recently taken place.
Commonwealth is upgrading to new modern bigger and confortable seating as it was built for football. The only downside is the track moving the fans a little furhter from the field but that is not that bad.

Actually love the place. Very colorful, however hate busting a bladder waiting in line. Great color nice place for 10 games a year. Same as Edmonton, just wonderful venue

realistically, they could add a second level of concourse…It is just a matter of if you are going to sink 100mil into that, then potentially more money into seating upgrades, then more money into boxes…well, you are now looking at 160mil minimum…that is a significant chunk of an entirely new stadium. I mean look at how much has been sunk into Regina to add some of this stuff, and it will only be there for a total of 4.5-5 seasons.

Every time I am at McMahon stadium I see how easy a second level of concourse would be…yeah, the decking would extend out the edge of the stadium…so what…you can make a smoking section outside the stadium on the second level (as some NFL stadiums have done) and it provides a nice spot for intermission brews. The biggest challenge would be the interior piles. You would likely need to cut out a 6x6 whole through the stands in 6-8 or so spots to install them, but you can clean that up easily, you need to modify the stairs anyways, and it fords to opportunity to extend the iron straight up in install a canopy if you wish. The concourse and the stadium would essentially be independent structures.

As many have pointed out…it looks fine on TV…the view from the stands is great…etc. Yeah, it is fine. It is the amenities that suck. If you bring your kid to a packed house, getting said kid to the bathroom is no guarantee at intermissions, so you need to walk out with 4 minutes left to play each quarter to ensure you get your kid to the bathroom, more if you want to get him a pop or something. When it is all said and done you miss around a quarter of football unless you are in the lower seats…not very family friendly.

That’s all I am getting at…the services are so bad it takes away from the game day experience, and honestly, there are families that won’t go because of it. It was fine 20 years ago, but with various arena’s and stadiums, and being able to watch pretty much any game in a big screen at home (something few had 20 years ago) it detracts people from attending. Then once all of these new and revamped stadiums pop up people get even more pissy about the stadium and you potentially lose more sales.

RC on the other hand has fine services but line of sight is less than ideal for football from many seats.

I love going to other stadiums to watch games. I have been to every stadium in the CFL. I generally make a few trips a year to games in other cities. The only reason I go to Calgary is because I know so many people there. Love watching the game at the stadium…love the location…hate the amenities.