During a press conference held October 14, Geoff Molson, owner, president and CEO of the Montreal Canadiens, Bell Centre and evenko, announced an investment of nearly $100 million over three years dedicated to renovating the interior and exterior spaces of the Bell Centre. The work will be planned carefully to avoid interfering with activities taking place at the arena.
Among the projects that will be undertaken are the construction of a new major sports restaurant and plans to transform the Avenue-des-Canadiens to a pedestrian street. The renovation will also include a new glassed-in entry hall to the Bell Centre; the replacement of 21,288 seats (completed); the redesign of the corridors and addition of video screens; a new look for food concessions; renovation of loges and salons; wide-area Wi-Fi coverage/access; reorganization of backstage areas; optimization of mechanical and staging equipment; restoration of the Salon Jacques-Beauchamp; and updating La Mise au Jeu and 9-4-10 restaurants.
“This major investment is intended to maintain our standards of excellence and to ensure the quality of the Bell Centre visitor experience,” said Molson, in a press release. “For 20 years, the Bell Centre has been a leader of the entertainment industry and is one of the busiest arenas in North America. We are proud of the Bell Centre’s role as a catalyst of the Quebec economy and its contribution to building Montreal’s reputation around the world.”
The Bell Centre was built using entirely private funds under the name the Molson Centre nearly 20 years ago and is widely seen as a major catalyst of real estate development in downtown Montreal, according to a KPMG study. The arena attracts 2.9 million visitors annually and contributes about $338 million to the Quebec economy.