Scotiabank Arena reimagining the fan experience
By Adam FreillCommercial Construction
MLSE reveals first part of $350 million renovation to home of the Toronto Raptors and Maple Leafs ahead of venue’s 25th anniversary.
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) recently provided media with a behind-the-scenes look at the first phase of its $350 million Scotiabank Arena Venue Reimagination project. The updates to the 25-year-old arena, which will continue after the upcoming hockey and basketball seasons, aim to further enhance the best-in-class sports and entertainment destination that is home to the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club and the NBA’s Toronto Raptors Basketball Club.
Once complete, the comprehensive multi-phase renovations will feature capital improvements to almost all areas within the venue including concourses, suites, premium clubs, retail spaces, food and beverage offerings, state-of-the-art technological innovations, and more.
This summer’s renovations included a remodel to the venue’s 200-Level Mastercard Executive Suites along with state-of-the-art technology upgrades in the concourses. Next off-season will bring a remodel of the 100 Level concourse and updates to the Hot Stove restaurant.
Included in the tour was the Mastercard Lounge, a first-of-its-kind shared members space overlooking the bowl from the southwest corner of the 200 Level with a premium viewing and dining experience. The space features a modern ambiance as well as all-inclusive dining and an interactive Chef’s Table, inspired by a daily menu of Canada’s most premium ingredients created by Michelin Star trained chefs.
Also on the 200 level, all Mastercard Executive Suites received complete floor-to-ceiling remodels with new high-end finishes, stone accents, enhanced in-suite technology, convertible accessible seating as well as vaulted ceilings to expand the viewing area of the bowl.
Adding a touch of artificial intelligence to reduce time spent in concession lines for attendees who are not in box seats, two concession marketplaces have also been outfitted with Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology. The system allows patrons to tap a credit card to gain marketplace access and simply grab and go, getting charged for their purchases automatically after exiting the stand.
“For 25 years, Scotiabank Arena has been the heartbeat of this city and has established itself as one of the top venues in the world, hosting many of the biggest events in sports and entertainment and creating countless memories,” said Cynthia Devine, interim president and chief executive officer, MLSE. “This investment by MLSE’s owners is another important example of their commitment to further building on Scotiabank Arena’s global reputation as well as a commitment to our teams, employees, and most importantly, to our fans.”
A preliminary phase for the Scotiabank Arena Venue Reimagination project began in 2019 with the addition of a 2,200 square foot LED videoboard from LG Electronics on the west side of the building to enhance the fan viewing experience in Maple Leaf Square, two additional largescale screens in the Galleria, unique LED colour-changing arena signage and a full renovation of the Real Sports dining venue.
Following the conclusion of the 2023-24 Maple Leafs and Raptors seasons, an all-encompassing design makeover of the 100-Level concourse will begin as MLSE updates the concourse with screens, beacons and hubs that will transform to fit the look, feel and energy of the event within it.
Concession stands will be modernized to transform eight kiosks into grab & go style markets; the Real Sports Apparel store will be expanded to include an additional location on the 100-Level concourse; the Hot Stove restaurant on the 200 Level will gain a new dedicated entrance and undergo a design update; and an all-new Tunnel Club will be created on the Event Level where members become part of the action as they get an exclusive, up-close view of the players entering the bowl from the locker room from Scotiabank Arena’s newest premium restaurant.
“From concourse innovations, to premium space design, to the storied art on our walls, it was crucial to us to ensure this Scotiabank Arena venue reimagination featured improvements that all fans can benefit from,” said Nick Eaves, chief venues & operations officer with MLSE. “Beginning with the momentum from the renovations made this past summer, we look forward to unveiling to fans the best-in-class design, technology and overall atmosphere enhancements over the course of this multi-phased project that take our fans’ sports and entertainment experience to even greater heights.”
Opened in February of 1999, the arena is one of the premiere sporting and entertainment venues in Canada, and is often within the top 10 in the world for live event ticket sales. Since opening, it has hosted over 80 million fans at more than 5,000 events.
The Scotiabank Arena Venue Reimagination 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 facility.
“From bringing the original vision for Scotiabank Arena to life in 1999, to completing latest renovations this past summer, PCL is honored to have played a role in Scotiabank Arena’s legacy for nearly 25 years,” said Marc Pascoli, senior vice-president and district manager at PCL Construction. “Congratulations to Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, our partners and all of the tradespeople involved as we celebrate the future of Scotiabank Arena and the continued delivery of a best-in-class experience for fans.”