Oak View breaks ground on Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre renos

Left to Right: Tom Pistore, PJ Mercanti, Tim Leiweke, Andrea Horwath, Riley O’Connor, Peter Luukko

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Oak View Group (OVG) held a groundbreaking event to launch major renovations at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton.

EllisDon is overseeing the renovation project which will be designed by Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects.

“Upon completion of this truly transformative investment, the Hamilton Arena will generate substantial economic velocity and serve as a catalyst to the downtown core via the hosting of premier touring acts, family shows, and all types of sporting events,” said Tim Leiweke, chairman and CEO of Oak View Group. “We have great partners helping us bring this project fully to life and are already looking and planning ahead to the Arena’s re-opening.”

hamilton arena renderingThe $280 million renovation will modernize the venue, including the addition of premium seating, clubs, lounges and suites, enhanced acoustics to amplify the listening experience, next generation touchless and self-serve technologies for food & beverage purchases to minimize transaction times and upgraded concourses and concession areas.

Additional upgrades to the venue’s back of house include specially designed artist lounges, upgraded production facilities, electrical and lighting upgrades as well as updates to the arena’s telecommunications infrastructure, wireless network, and video/network/security systems.

The project is part of a larger downtown revitalization project known as “The Commons,” which includes the newly reimagined arena, renovated convention centre, significant investments in the Art Gallery of Hamilton and concert hall facilities, as well as new residential, office, and retail space development. The Commons project is managed by the Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group (HUPEG).

“I am thrilled the groundbreaking for the massive re-development of our downtown Hamilton Arena has arrived,” said Mayor Andrea Horwath. “This investment by international entertainment leader OVG in our city, and downtown core, will put Hamilton firmly on the map as a world-class sports and entertainment destination, spurring job creation, economic revitalization and attracting new visitors to our great city.”

FirstOntario Concert Hall and The Studio will remain open and continue to host events during the arena’s renovation.


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