Project manager, architect revealed for downtown arena

Icon Venue Group and 360 Architecture were revealed Monday as the project manager and architect of Edmonton's proposed downtown arena
ICON Venue Group built the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. (ICON Venue Group)

ICON Venue Group and 360 Architecture were revealed respectively on Monday as the project manager and architect for Edmonton's proposed downtown arena.

The City of Edmonton announced the appointment of ICON as the project management company through a news release.

The news about 360 Architecture's involvement was revealed less formally — Mayor Stephen Mandel told reporters about it at city hall.

The mayor's staff and city officials later said that the agreement is still under negotiation.

"They're a firm that has been identified and recommended as the architect to proceed. We're not under contract with them yet," said Rick Daviss, the executive director of the arena district project.

"We're negotiating with them. I'm hopeful that we'll be able to conclude negotiations successfully."

Daviss says that no major issues remain in the talks, just "dotting the i's and crossing the t's."

Krushell impressed by ICON

According to the city's news release, ICON has been the project manager for arenas in Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Phoenix and Denver as well as five others over the past decade.

"This is probably the most experienced company in North America that does this kind of planning and designing for specifically professional sports facilities," Mandel said.

"So we should have the number one team doing it and from what I gather, from talking to our people, they are the number one team."

Officials from ICON met with Edmonton city councillors on Monday. Coun. Kim Krushell was impressed by what she heard.

"These guys have the expertise I was looking for. So I'm very positive about that," she said.

"I think that some of the things that they presented to us show that they've really been considering the Edmonton market."

As for 360 Architecture, Daviss said the firm worked on the arena in Columbus.

"If we can achieve what they've achieved in Columbus here, I think that we'll have done very well," he said. 

The current concept for the arena has 18,400 seats, a link to the LRT system and a pedway connecting the building to adjacent developments.

In November council approved spending $30 million on the design process to complete the design to 60 per cent, enabling contractors to bid on delivering a "guaranteed maximum price" of $450 million for building construction.

The process is expected to take a full year.

The city also announced that Rick Daviss has been appointed executive director of the downtown sports and entertainment district project.