The Pengrowth Saddledome is the main indoor arena facility in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and is situated on the east end of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede grounds and Macleod Trail. It is also known simply as the Saddledome or even the ‘Dome. The arena is home to the Calgary Flames of the NHL, the Calgary Roughnecks of the NLL and the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL.
Architect: Graham McCourt Architects
Engineer: Jan Bobrowski and Partners
Contractor: CANA Construction
Cost: $100,000,000 CAD
The distinctive saddle-shaped roof is an inverted hyperbolic paraboloid. This original design is believed to still hold the world record for the longest spanning hyperbolic paraboloid concrete shell in the world. Projected onto the x-z plane the saddledome produces a circle with a radius of 67.7m. However, the roof’s saddle motif tied in well with Calgary’s Western heritage. Constructed using pre-cast concrete panels suspended by post-tension cables, the roof has an unobstructed 122 metre span covering 12,000 m², but is only 60 centimetres thick.
As a practical matter, such a design causes there to be many more rows of seating near "center ice" than behind the goals.
Depending on the event configuration, the facility seats up to 20,100 spectators, and includes 72 luxury suites, 2 super suites, and 6 restaurants and bars.
When it opened on October 15, 1983, it was known as the Olympic Saddledome as it would host the indoor ice events for the 1988 Winter Olympics. This was the first major arena in North America capable of hosting ice hockey matches on the international standard size ice sheet. The building was renamed the Canadian Airlines Saddledome when the Calgary-based airline became the building’s sponsor in July 1996. This was controversial among many Calgarians who opposed the facility losing the "Olympic" name, and who were also opposed to the decision to cover the Dome’s massive roof with the Canadian Airlines logo. In 2000, another company, Pengrowth Management Ltd., took over sponsorship of the complex when Canadian Airlines was acquired by Air Canada and the facility was renamed the Pengrowth Saddledome. Unlike Canadian, Pengrowth chose not to put its logo on the roof of the facility.
Ice hockey, rodeo events, dog shows, basketball, monster truck events, circus events, music concerts, tapings of Wheel of Fortune, World Wrestling Entertainment and the 2006 ISU World Figure Skating Championships have all been held at the Saddledome in its 20+ year history.
The Saddledome is home to the NHL’s Calgary Flames. During home games, the Flames can host 19,289 fans in the arena.