Revisit the Stampede Corral with these photos as demolition looms for 70-year-old city landmark

As the expansion of the BMO Centre promises to change the local landscape, Calgarians should ready themselves to say goodbye this month to a longtime landmark: the Stampede Corral.

Venue has hosted hockey games, dog shows, Stampede Wrestling and a royal visit

A look at the Stampede Corral before it disappears

3 years ago
Duration 3:54
While there won't be a dramatic implosion, the Stampede Corral is slowly fading into history over the next six months.

As the expansion of the BMO Centre promises to change the local landscape, Calgarians should ready themselves to say goodbye this month to a longtime landmark: the Stampede Corral.

The city recently announced it would begin demolishing the 70-year-old building this month, to make room for a $500-million update to the BMO Centre.

"As we prepare to say goodbye to the Corral, we are proud to be building the future of Stampede Park with the BMO Centre as a catalyst for Calgary's continued economic growth and diversity," said Jim Laurendeau, the vice-president of park planning and development with the Calgary Stampede, in a Dec. 2 news release.

"Despite current challenges, there remains no better way to learn and share ideas than to do so gathered together in person. The 2024 opening of the building is perfectly timed to make this possible."

The Corral opened in December 1950, and its construction cost the Stampede about $1.5 million.

Built as an arena for professional hockey, it would go on to host dog shows, Stampede Wrestling, dances and even a royal visit from Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

Artifacts from its history will be preserved, though some characteristic pieces of art — including the skaters carved into concrete, and the neon cowboy — cannot be salvaged. Instead, digital renderings will allow them to be recreated.

Revisit the Corral with these photos taken from its construction and throughout its history.

An aerial view of the site of the Stampede Corral building in 1949. (Lorne Burkell/Glenbow Archives)
The front of the Stampede Corral building, circa 1955. (Glenbow Archives)
Princess Elizabeth examines Calgary Mayor Don Mackay's cowboy hat at the Stampede Corral in 1951. (University of Calgary Archives and Special Collections)
Teenagers dance to Bill Haley and The Comets, performing at the Stampede Corral in 1956. (Jack De Lorme/Glenbow Archives)
These concrete relief murals of hockey players and a figure skater cannot be saved. Instead, they have been digitally chronicled so that they can be recreated. (Monty Kruger/CBC)
Framed group photos of various Calgary hockey teams were on display at the Corral, including one from 1907. (Monty Kruger/CBC)
Former Alberta premier Ralph Klein, left, winces during a Stampede Wrestling match at the Corral. (CBC Archives)
Part of an expansive and colourful mural on the side of the Stampede Corral. (Monty Kruger/CBC)
'It's important to Stampede Park but it's more important, I think, to the community as a whole. Everybody in Calgary has probably been in this building for some kind of event,' Don Wilson, a volunteer with the Stampede's historical committee, told CBC News about the Corral in July. (Monty Kruger)
The neon sign that frames the Corral cowboy has been preserved, but the cowboy cannot be taken down, so it will be recreated. (Monty Kruger/CBC)
A digital rendering of the BMO Centre's expansion. The construction is expected to be completed in 2024. (City of Calgary)

With files from Scott Dippel.


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