Max Bell Centre renovation brings improved accessibility, energy efficiency and event-hosting ability


Last week, renovations at Max Bell Centre (1001 Barlow Trail S.E) were completed on time and on budget. The $14 million upgrade to the arena facility included lobby and change room renovations, replacement of the electrical and mechanical systems, energy-efficient lighting, new safety netting, and a new ice slab, dasher boards and board glass for Ken Bracko Arena.

“Investments like these go a long way to ensuring Calgarians have access to quality recreation amenities,” said Gian-Carlo Carra, Ward 9 Councillor. “Max Bell Centre is much more than arenas — it’s a place for the community to gather, host events and stay active.” 

More than half a million people walk through the doors of Max Bell Centre each year. This community hub now enjoys enhanced accessibility with the addition of barrier-free washrooms and a new elevator. The main entrance, lobby and concession areas have also been redesigned and modernized, and families can enjoy a new interactive play area and activity wall.

The Max Bell Centre site is an important venue for outdoor festivals, including Chasing Summer, the Calgary Japanese Festival “Omatsuri” and the Canada Day Block Party. Lighting upgrades, improved access to potable water, electrical service for food trucks, structural aprons to support entertainment staging, and resurfacing of the parking lot elevate the facility's appeal as a festival and event location.

“Max Bell Centre is an important community asset serving diverse groups,” said James McLaughlin, Acting Director of Calgary Recreation. “These improvements will mean a better and more accessible experience for sport participants, cultural groups, families and community partners.”

The Max Bell Centre has been part of the community since 1974, providing thousands of hours of ice time for amateur sport and hosting over 15 major festivals and events annually.

This project received funding support from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre through the Recreation Energy Conservation Program.