Four firms in running to build downtown arena

Stuart Olson Dominion, Ellis Don, PCL and Ledcor Builders have put in bids to build the proposed arena in downtown Edmonton.
This concept drawing of the inside of the proposed arena was released Thursday by project manager ICON Venue Group. (ICON Venue Group)

Four construction companies remain in the running to build the proposed arena in downtown Edmonton, CBC News has learned.

Stuart Olson Dominion, Ellis Don, PCL and Ledcor Builders have bid on the project; of these companies, three are joining forces with other construction firms.

Ledcor submitted a bid with Clark Builders, which just sold a majority share to an American company called Turner Construction.

The New York-based Turner has worked on 51 sports facilities, including Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium and the redevelopment of Soldier Field, home of the National Football League's Chicago Bears.

"Clark Builders and Ledcor Construction have done the vast majority of work downtown in the last 10, 20 years, and we're now hooked-up with one of the largest arena and stadium builders in North America," said Bob Walker, Ledcor's vice-president of construction.

Ellis Don has teamed up with Hunt Construction which worked on the home arenas of the Florida Panthers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"As soon as we heard word that there was a chance of renovating the existing facility or potentially building a new one, we got working on building up our team, so that we were in a place to provide the services that would be required to build it," said Sean Evans of Ellis Don.

Stuart Olson Dominion confirmed to CBC that they are one of the final four. The company is partnering with Clark Construction, which is headquartered out of Maryland, on the bid for the downtown arena.

Clark Construction — which is a completely separate company from Clark Builders — built FedEx Field, the home of the Washington Redskins and National Park, home of the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team.

Stuart Olson Dominion is currently working on the new Edmonton Remand Centre and the Jasper Place Library.  Past projects include the pyramids at Edmonton City Hall, the new southwest recreation centre and the Richmond Olympic Oval.

The last company in the running is PCL, which is the only builder that did not submit a bid with another firm. PCL has worked on the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Scotiabank Place in Ottawa and KeyArena in Seattle.

The successful bid will be announced by late February or early March.

This week, the city announced ICON Venue Group would be the project manager for the arena. City officials are in final negotiations with 360 Architecture to be the architect on the project.

With files from the CBC's Tim Adams