McMahon Stadium
Location1817 Crowchild Trail NW
Calgary, Alberta
T2M 4R6
Opened1960 (~22,000)
Renovated2001 (37,317)
2005 (35,650)
Expanded1969 (~25,000)
1973 (~28,000)
1975 (32,454)
1988 (38,205)
OwnerUniversity of Calgary
OperatorMcMahon Stadium Society
SurfaceGrass (1960-1974)
AstroTurf (1975-2005)
FieldTurf (2006-present)
Construction cost$1,050,000 (1960 Canadian dollars)
($8.12 million in 2020 dollars[1])
ArchitectRule Wynn and Rule
CapacityCanadian football: 35,650[2] (46,020 with temporary seating.)
Calgary Stampeders (CFL) (1960-present)
University of Calgary Dinos (1960-present)
Calgary Colts (CJFL) (1967-present)
Calgary Boomers (NASL) (1981)
Calgary Flames (February 20, 2011)
Calgary Hitmen (February 21, 2011)
Grey Cup (1975, 1993, 2000, 2009)
1988 Winter Olympics (opening and closing ceremonies)

McMahon Stadium (pron.: /məkˈmæn/) is a Canadian football stadium located in Calgary, Alberta. The stadium is owned by the University of Calgary and operated by the McMahon Stadium Society.

McMahon Stadium is located between the downtown core and the University of Calgary, north of 16 Avenue NW between Crowchild Trail and University Drive. It is within walking distance of the Banff Trail C-Train station.

The stadium currently serves as the home venue for the University of Calgary Dinos, Calgary Colts of the Canadian Junior Football League, Calgary Gators and Calgary Wolfpack of the Alberta Football League, and the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL, who formerly played at Mewata Stadium from 1935 to 1959. McMahon Stadium also served as the open-air venue (as an ice rink) for the 2011 National Hockey League Heritage Classic match between the Calgary Flames and the Montreal Canadiens.

The Stadium was also the location used for the 1988 Winter Olympics for the opening and closing ceremonies.[3]


The stadium was constructed on the then University of Alberta (Calgary) campus over a 100-day period in 1960 for $1,050,000. It was built as a replacement for the Mewata Park Stadium.

It is named after Calgary residents Frank McMahon and his brother, George McMahon. They donated C$300,000 to the university and the citizens of Calgary, and guaranteed the balance of money for the stadium's construction.

The university acquired complete ownership of the stadium and land in 1985 after the original financing was retired (1973) and a land exchange agreement was signed with the City of Calgary.[4][5]

McMahon Stadium SocietyEdit

The stadium is operated by the McMahon Stadium Society. The society was incorporated as a non-profit society in Alberta in 1960 with its objectives being to operate, improve and manage the stadium, together with its facilities, for sports, recreation and other useful purposes.

Its membership consists of: two persons appointed by the University of Calgary; from the City of Calgary, the Commissioner of Finance and the Commissioner of Planning and Community Services; and two other persons appointed by the four other members. The two other members were originally appointed by the McMahon brothers until the financing guaranteed by the McMahons was retired in 1973.

The society currently operates the stadium under two leases and a four-year, three-month agreement with the City of Calgary, approved on January 7, 2007.[6]


With permanent seating totalling 35,650, McMahon Stadium is the fifth-largest stadium in Canada. McMahon Stadium was expanded in several stages from its original 22,000-seat capacity in 1960 to 38,205 in 1988.

More recent renovations in 2001 and 2005, in which luxury boxes replaced bleacher seating in the higher rows of the grandstands, reduced the stadium capacity to 37,317 in 2001, and to its current 35,650 in 2005. In 2007 Calgary Stampeders president Ted Hellard proposed a further reduction of McMahon Stadium's capacity by approximately 4,200 seats to accommodate further luxury boxes, with renovations to be underwritten with personal seat licenses.[7]

For special events such as Grey Cup games, temporary bleachers have been built in the facility's end zones. These seats accounted for a record 46,020 spectators at the 97th Grey Cup, between the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders on November 29, 2009.[8]


The stadium features an artificial FieldTurf field installed in 2006. McMahon Stadium installed its first AstroTurf artificial playing surface in 1975 amid concerns that the original grass pitch would not withstand an intended increase in use of the stadium facilities by professional, amateur and recreational teams.

The new Field Turf surface is hoped to attract a wider variety of events to the stadium including future international soccer matches.


In 2010, the Stamps completed a one year renovation to its player locker rooms and coaches offices at McMahon Stadium that is unofficially estimated to have cost over one million dollars. The 2010 renovations include but are not limited to the following:[9]

  • Brand new office building for football operations and office personnel.[10]
  • A players lounge with a HDTV monitor that provides practice times and coaches meeting updates, and HDTV monitors for video games (XBOX 360 and PS3).[9]
  • A brand new weight room which replaces the portable trailer the players used to have to pump iron in.[9]
  • A huge, new locker room area, about three times bigger than the old one, that houses up to 75 players[11] and their gear with room to spare. The state of the art locker room also has an HDTV monitor that provides practice times and coaches meeting updates.[9]
  • An upgraded equipment room. The state of the art equipment room, has a number of sliding shelves operated by a simple push of a button reveal rows of neatly stacked helmets, shoes, shoulder pads and other gear and supplies. The Stamps staff can now, at the press of a button, access the equipment required by the players. The shelves condense beside one another, keeping everything tucked away from view until needed.[9]
  • Two new therapy tubs including one with an underwater treadmill that's set up with a video camera to help track the athletes progress as they train back into playing shape after suffering an injury.[9]
  • A brand new state of the art training room where the team physical therapist and other team doctors can take care players.[9]
  • Each chair in the medical room has extra-long leg room and high-tech monitors beside them.[12]
  • Three private rooms, and a procedure room, where players can visit team doctors for stitches and whatever is needed.[10]

The Stamps training facility and office areas at McMahon stadium are patterned after the Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL, and are on par with any facility in the NFL, and it is better than most in the CFL.[12]

Notable eventsEdit

  • McMahon Stadium was also used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics, which required major expansion of its seating area.
  • On August 13, 2009, ZZ Top and Aerosmith were to perform at the venue together, but due to a tour injury that occurred to Aerosmith's lead singer Steven Tyler, the show was cancelled.[13]

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit


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