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McMahon Stadium
Mcmahon Stadium Logo.svg
McMahon Stadium 3.jpg
Location 1817 Crowchild Trail NW
Calgary, Alberta
T2M 4R6
Opened 1960 (~22,000)
Renovated 2001 (37,317)
2005 (35,650)
Expanded 1969 (~25,000)
1973 (~28,000)
1975 (32,454)
1988 (38,205)
Owner University of Calgary
Operator McMahon Stadium Society
Surface Grass (1960-1974)
AstroTurf (1975-2005)
FieldTurf (2006-present)
Construction cost $1,050,000 (1960 Canadian dollars)
Architect Rule Wynn and Rule
Capacity Canadian football: 35,650[1] (60,000 with temporary seating[2])
Calgary Stampeders (CFL) (1960-present)
University of Calgary Dinos (1960-present)
Calgary Colts (CJFL) (1967-present)
XV Olympic Winter Games (1988)

McMahon Stadium (pronounced /məkˈmæn/) is a Canadian football stadium located in Calgary, Alberta. The stadium is owned by the University of Calgary and operated by the McMahon Stadium Society.

McMahon Stadium is located between the downtown core and the University of Calgary, north of 16 Avenue NW between Crowchild Trail and University Drive. It is within walking distance of the Banff Trail C-Train station.

The stadium currently serves as the home venue for the University of Calgary Dinos, Calgary Colts of the Canadian Junior Football League, Calgary Gators and Calgary Wolfpack of the Alberta Football League, and the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL, who formerly played at Mewata Stadium from 1935 to 1959.

The Stadium was also the location used for the 1988 Winter Olympics for the opening and closing ceremonies.



The stadium was constructed on the then University of Alberta (Calgary) campus over a 100-day period in 1960 for $1,050,000. It was built as a replacement for the Mewata Park Stadium.

It is named after Calgary residents Frank McMahon and his brother, George McMahon. They donated C$300,000 to the university and the citizens of Calgary, and guaranteed the balance of monies for the stadium's construction.

The university acquired complete ownership of the stadium and land in 1985 after the original financing was retired (1973) and a land exchange agreement was signed with the City of Calgary.[2][3]

McMahon Stadium Society

The stadium is operated by the McMahon Stadium Society. The society was incorporated as a non-profit society in Alberta in 1960 with its objectives being to operate, improve and manage the stadium, together with its facilities, for sports, recreation and other useful purposes.

Its memberhip consists of: two persons appointed by the University of Calgary; from the City of Calgary, the Commissioner of Finance and the Commissioner of Planning and Community Services; and two other persons appointed by the four other members. The two other members were originally appointed by the McMahon brothers until the financing guaranteed by the McMahons was retired in 1973.

The society currently operates the stadium under two leases and a four-year, three-month agreement with the City of Calgary, approved on Jan. 7, 2007.[4]


With permanent seating totalling 35,650, McMahon Stadium is the fifth-largest stadium in Canada. McMahon Stadium was expanded in several stages from its original 22,000-seat capacity in 1960 to 38,205 in 1988.

More recent renovations in 2001 and 2005, in which luxury boxes replaced bleacher seating in the higher rows of the grandstands, reduced the stadium capacity to 37,317 in 2001, and to its current 35,650 in 2005. In 2007 Calgary Stampeders president Ted Hellard proposed a further reduction of McMahon Stadium's capacity by approximately 4,200 seats to accommodate further luxury boxes, with renovations to be underwritten with personal seat licenses[5].

For special events such as Grey Cup games, temporary bleachers have been built in the facility's end zones. These seats accounted for a record 45,010 spectators at a football game between the Calgary Stampeders and the Montreal Alouettes on Oct. 29, 2000.[6]


The stadium features an artificial FieldTurf field installed in 2006. McMahon Stadium installed its first AstroTurf artificial playing surface in 1975 amid concerns that the original grass pitch would not withstand an intended increase in use of the stadium facilities by professional, amateur and recreational teams.

The new FieldTurf surface is hoped to attract a wider variety of events to the stadium including future international soccer matches.

Notable events

The CFL Grey Cup game was held at McMahon Stadium in 1975, 1993, 2000 and 2009.

McMahon Stadium was also used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics, which required major expansion of its seating area. The facility is occasionally used as an outdoor concert venue also, notably for the Festival Express tour in 1970, the Lilith Fair tours in 1997 and 1998, and Ozzy Osbourne and the Monsters of Rock on July 26, 2008.

On August 13, 2009, ZZ Top and Aerosmith were to perform at the venue together, but due to a tour injury that occurred to Aerosmith's lead singer Steven Tyler, the show was cancelled[7].

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ [Retrieved 05/12/2009]
  3. ^ Calgary Sun, "Stamps explore selling rights," May 5, 2005; [Retrieved 31/10/2008]
  4. ^ [Retrieved: 31/10/2008]
  5. ^ [1], "CFL Special Report: Stamps planning McMahon overhaul". The Calgary Herald, 01 Sep 2007
  6. ^ CBC, "Stampeders ride off with CFL West," Nov. 8, 2000; [Retrieved 31/10/2008]
  7. ^

External links

Coordinates: 51°4′13.18″N 114°7′17.00″W / 51.0703278°N 114.12139°W / 51.0703278; -114.12139 (McMahon Stadium)



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