Skip to content

McMahon Stadium: Calgary’s Iconic Sports Arena in the Heart of Canada

McMahon Stadium

Welcome to McMahon Stadium, a historic Canadian football stadium nestled in the vibrant city of Calgary, Alberta. This iconic sports venue, owned by the University of Calgary and operated by the McMahon Stadium Society, holds a special place in the hearts of both sports enthusiasts and the local community.

Brief History: A Legacy of Greatness

With a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1960, McMahon Stadium has witnessed countless memorable moments in Canadian football. From thrilling Grey Cup championships to nail-biting university and junior football games, this hallowed ground has been a witness to intense sporting rivalries and extraordinary athletic feats.

Location: A Prime Spot in the Heart of Calgary

Strategically situated between Calgary’s downtown core and the University of Calgary, McMahon Stadium offers unparalleled accessibility. Located north of 16 Avenue NW, it lies within walking distance of the Banff Trail C-Train station, making it convenient for fans to arrive at the stadium and soak in the electric atmosphere.

A Community Icon: Unifying Calgary’s Sporting Spirit

Beyond its role as a venue for various football teams, McMahon Stadium is at the center of Calgary’s sporting community. From the University of Calgary Dinos and the Calgary Colts of the Canadian Junior Football League to the Calgary Gators and Calgary Wolfpack of the Alberta Football League, this beloved stadium brings together players, fans, and residents alike, fostering a sense of camaraderie and pride.

In addition to football, McMahon Stadium has hosted a diverse range of events that reflect its versatility. Notably, it served as an open-air ice rink for the NHL’s 2011 Heritage Classic match, captivating both hockey aficionados and casual spectators alike. Moreover, the stadium holds the distinction of hosting the captivating opening and closing ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics, showcasing its ability to unite nations through the power of sport.

Join us at McMahon Stadium and experience the thrill, passion, and camaraderie that this iconic Canadian football arena exudes. Get ready to cheer on your favorite teams, share unforgettable moments, and become a part of the vibrant sporting legacy that defines Calgary.

Design and Architecture

McMahon Stadium, located in Calgary, Canada, is a remarkable Canadian football stadium known for its impressive design and architecture. The stadium was meticulously designed to provide an unparalleled experience for both players and spectators.

Description of the stadium’s architecture

The architecture of McMahon Stadium showcases a unique blend of modern design and functionality. The stadium features an open-air concept, allowing for excellent ventilation and creating a vibrant atmosphere during games. Its circular shape provides unobstructed sightlines from every seat, ensuring an immersive viewing experience for all attendees. The stadium’s strategic layout maximizes seating capacity while maintaining a sense of intimacy.

Information about the designers or architects

McMahon Stadium was designed by the esteemed architectural firm, Graham McCourt Architects. The firm, known for their expertise in sports venue design, successfully captured the essence of Canadian football in their design. Their innovative approach to stadium architecture has earned them recognition and accolades within the industry.

Notable design features

One notable design feature of McMahon Stadium is the iconic cantilever roof. This unique roof design provides cover for a significant portion of the seating area while maintaining an open-air feel. This allows fans to enjoy the excitement of the game while being protected from the elements.

See also  TD Place Stadium: A Grand Sporting Venue in the Heart of Ottawa, Canada

The stadium also incorporates state-of-the-art amenities and facilities, including spacious concourses, modern concession stands, and comfortable seating options, ensuring the ultimate game-day experience for spectators.

Capacity and Facilities

McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Canada, North America, is a versatile venue that offers various amenities for both sports enthusiasts and the general public.

Seating Capacity

With a total capacity of 35,000, McMahon Stadium provides ample seating for fans to enjoy a thrilling sports experience. Whether attending a Canadian football game or other events, spectators can expect to have a comfortable and engaging view of the action.

Types of Seating or Viewing Options

The stadium offers a range of seating options to cater to different preferences and budgets. From general seating areas for a casual experience to premium sections that offer enhanced amenities, fans can choose their desired level of comfort and exclusivity. Additionally, luxury boxes are available for those seeking a more private and upscale setting.

Facilities within the Stadium

McMahon Stadium features various facilities to enhance the overall experience for visitors. Concessions stands are conveniently located throughout the venue, providing a wide range of food and beverage options to cater to diverse tastes. Additionally, restrooms are easily accessible and well-maintained to ensure optimal convenience for all attendees. The stadium also includes shops where fans can purchase merchandise and memorabilia to show their support for their favorite teams.

Accessibility Features for Differently-Abled Spectators

Recognizing the importance of inclusivity, McMahon Stadium is equipped with accessibility features to accommodate differently-abled spectators. The venue provides wheelchair-accessible seating areas with unobstructed views, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the events comfortably. Additionally, the stadium offers accessible restrooms and designated parking areas to facilitate easy access for individuals with mobility challenges.

Notable Events at McMahon Stadium

McMahon Stadium, located in Calgary, Canada, has been the venue for numerous notable events since its opening. Not only has it witnessed thrilling football games, but it has also hosted exhilarating concerts and other grand occasions. Let’s take a closer look at some of the stadium’s most memorable moments.


One of the most significant moments at McMahon Stadium was the first football game held on August 15, 1960. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers emerged victorious, beating the Calgary Stampeders with a score of 38-20. The stadium has been the stage for several CFL Grey Cup games, including the years 1975, 1993, 2000, 2009, and the most recent one in 2019. Additionally, it proudly hosted two CFL All-Star Games in 1972 and 1978, further solidifying its reputation as a premier football venue.


McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Canada offers an unforgettable spectator experience, attracting both sports enthusiasts and casual fans alike. The stadium has gained considerable acclaim for its vibrant atmosphere during events, creating an electric energy that engulfs the entire venue. Spectators and critics often praise the passionate crowd, who never fail to cheer on their teams with unbridled enthusiasm.


“The atmosphere at McMahon Stadium is absolutely electric, especially during crucial moments of the game. The roar of the crowd sends chills down your spine!” – Avid football fan

“Attending an event at McMahon Stadium is an experience like no other. The energy and excitement in the air are palpable, creating an incredible sense of camaraderie among fellow spectators.” – Sports critic

Traditions and Rituals:

McMahon Stadium boasts several cherished traditions and rituals that have become an integral part of the spectator experience. One such tradition is the pre-game “stampede” where fans gather outside the stadium, emulating the city’s famous Calgary Stampede. Another remarkable ritual is the team’s entrance, accompanied by pyrotechnics and a resounding cheer from the crowd, further igniting the energy within McMahon Stadium.

Sustainability Efforts

McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Canada, is dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment and continuously improving its sustainability efforts.

Energy Efficiency Measures

McMahon Stadium has implemented various energy efficiency measures to minimize its carbon footprint. This includes the use of energy-efficient lighting systems throughout the stadium, ensuring optimal use of electricity.

See also  BC Place: Uniting Vancouver Through Sport and Entertainment

Renewable Energy

In an effort to transition towards renewable energy sources, McMahon Stadium has invested in solar panels that generate electricity. These panels harness the power of the sun to contribute to the stadium’s energy needs, reducing reliance on non-renewable sources.

Waste Management

Efficient waste management practices are in place at McMahon Stadium. The stadium promotes recycling by providing separate bins for different types of waste, ensuring that recyclable materials are diverted from landfills. Additionally, waste reduction initiatives and composting programs have been implemented to minimize the overall waste generated during events.

Overall, McMahon Stadium is committed to incorporating sustainable practices to reduce its environmental impact, conserve energy, and promote responsible waste management. By adopting these sustainable measures, the stadium aims to create a positive and eco-friendly experience for fans and visitors alike.

Nearby Attractions:

Description of things to do around McMahon Stadium:

Around McMahon Stadium, there is an array of exciting activities for both sports enthusiasts and tourists alike to enjoy. Just a short distance away is the beautiful foothills of the Canadian Rockies, providing an ideal setting for hiking, biking, and even skiing during the winter months. Sports fans can explore the nearby Olympic Plaza, which hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics and offers skating and various athletic facilities. For those seeking a cultural experience, the renowned Glenbow Museum is a must-visit, showcasing impressive art collections and exhibits on Western Canadian heritage.

Local Restaurants and Shops:

Calgary boasts a diverse culinary scene, and fans attending events at McMahon Stadium can indulge in a selection of local eateries. Notable restaurants nearby include Vintage Chophouse, renowned for its juicy steaks and elegant setting, and the Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, known for their freshly baked goods and artisanal sandwiches. If you’re in search of retail therapy, the trendy Kensington neighborhood offers an assortment of unique boutiques and shops, where you can find everything from fashion to local artisan products.

Tourist Attractions:

Aside from the stadium itself, visiting Calgary offers various tourist attractions worth exploring. The iconic Calgary Tower provides breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape and the majestic Rocky Mountains. Additionally, a visit to the Calgary Zoo promises an unforgettable experience, housing over 1,000 animals from across the globe. For a dose of adventure, head to Canada Olympic Park and try your hand at bobsledding or zip-lining. The lively Stephen Avenue Walk, a pedestrian mall lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, is also close by and perfect for strolling and people-watching.

How to Visit McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Canada

When planning a visit to McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Canada, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Whether you are attending a sports event or simply exploring the stadium, here’s some useful information and tips to help make your visit enjoyable and hassle-free.

Getting Tickets

Purchasing tickets to attend an event at McMahon Stadium is easy. You can buy them online through the official stadium website or through authorized ticket vendors. It is advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially for popular sporting events, to ensure availability.

Getting to the Stadium and Parking Information

McMahon Stadium is conveniently located in Calgary, making it easily accessible by various modes of transportation. You can choose to drive and park your vehicle in the onsite parking lots available for event attendees. Alternatively, you can utilize public transportation options such as buses or trains, as the stadium is well-connected to the city’s transit network.

Tips for First-Time Visitors

If it’s your first time visiting McMahon Stadium, here are a few tips to enhance your experience:

  • Arrive early to allow sufficient time for parking, security checks, and finding your seat.
  • Dress comfortably, considering the weather conditions during your visit to ensure you can enjoy the event without any discomfort.
  • Check the stadium’s rules and regulations beforehand to familiarize yourself with any restrictions or prohibited items.
  • Consider bringing a small bag or backpack with essentials like water, snacks, sunscreen, and a poncho or umbrella.
  • Explore the various concessions and vendors within the stadium to sample local cuisine and purchase souvenirs.
See also  BMO Field: Toronto's Premier Sporting Destination in Canada

Conclusion: McMahon Stadium Calgary, Canada, North America

After exploring the various aspects of McMahon Stadium, it is clear that this iconic venue has made a significant impact on the sport of football and the local community of Calgary, Canada, and North America as a whole.

The Ideal Sporting Arena

McMahon Stadium has proven to be the ideal sporting arena, offering state-of-the-art facilities, a vibrant atmosphere, and a capacity that can accommodate thousands of passionate fans. Its ability to host international events has further solidified its reputation as a world-class stadium.

A Thriving Sports Hub

The stadium’s role as a thriving sports hub goes beyond football. It has become a focal point for various sporting events, including soccer matches and track and field competitions. This versatility has enabled McMahon Stadium to consistently attract large crowds and generate enthusiasm among sports enthusiasts.

A Sense of Community

McMahon Stadium has forged a deep connection with the local community. It serves as a gathering place where fans can come together, support their team, and create lasting memories. The stadium’s initiatives for community outreach and engagement have further strengthened this bond.

In conclusion, McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Canada, is not just a sports venue but a symbol of passion, unity, and pride. Through its impact on sport and the local community, it cements its status as one of the most revered stadiums in North America.

In the heart of Calgary, Canada, McMahon Stadium stands as an iconic symbol of sports and community. As we conclude our journey through this magnificent stadium, it’s impossible not to acknowledge other notable stadiums that share its dedication to excellence. LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, and BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario, all serve as shining examples of sporting venues that bring communities together. Just like McMahon Stadium, these arenas have witnessed countless extraordinary moments and have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans. Whether it’s football, baseball, or soccer, these stadiums represent the power of sports to unite and inspire. Explore their stories to uncover the unique experiences they offer.

For more information, you can check the McMahon Stadium.


Q: Where is McMahon Stadium located?
A: McMahon Stadium is located at 1817 Crowchild Trail NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Q: Who is the owner of McMahon Stadium?
A: The University of Calgary owns McMahon Stadium.

Q: What is the capacity of McMahon Stadium?
A: McMahon Stadium has a capacity of 35,400 for Canadian football games, which can be expanded to 46,020 with temporary seating.

Q: What is the record attendance at McMahon Stadium?
A: The record attendance at McMahon Stadium is 60,000, which was set during the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Q: What is the surface of the stadium?
A: The surface of McMahon Stadium has changed over the years. It was initially grass (1960-1974), then replaced with Astroturf (1975-2005), and currently uses FieldTurf (2006-present).

Q: When was McMahon Stadium opened?
A: McMahon Stadium was opened on August 15, 1960, with an initial capacity of approximately 22,000.

Q: Has McMahon Stadium undergone any renovations?
A: Yes, McMahon Stadium has undergone renovations in 2001 (capacity: 37,317) and 2005 (capacity: 35,650) to accommodate more spectators.

Q: How much did it cost to build McMahon Stadium?
A: McMahon Stadium was built at a cost of $1.05 million in 1960 Canadian dollars, which amounts to approximately $9.59 million in 2021 dollars.

A true icon in sports commentary, John Wilson boasts 25 years of experience that have cemented his status as an authority on sports stadiums. His gender-neutral voice offers an inclusive perspective, emphasizing the universality of sports fandom. With a degree in Mass Communication, John's writings often capture the emotional connections fans form with stadiums, creating a vivid portrayal of the impact these venues have on communities.