Stampede Corral Canada, Calgary

Stampede Corral

The Stampede Corral is a multi-purpose venue (ice hockey, rodeo, tennis) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Located on the grounds of Stampede Park, the arena was completed in 1950 at a cost of C$1.25 million ($12.8 million today) to replace Victoria Arena as the home of the Calgary Stampeders minor professional hockey club, which hosted their Western Hockey League games for years. The Corral was built and is still owned by the not-for-profit Calgary Exhibition & Stampede organization, which leases the underlying land at $1/year from the city of Calgary. Seating 6,475, plus standing room, it is still used for the annual Calgary Stampede, with a variety of entertainment events in each year's daily ENMAX Corral Show.

In March 2016, the Calgary Stampede organization announced plans to demolish the Stampede Corral to make way for a $500 million expansion of the adjacent BMO Centre. Stampede officials said that the Corral was no longer up to code, and it wouldn't have been worth the expense to renovate it.

At the time of construction, the Stampede Corral was the largest arena in Canada west of Toronto, and the first in the region without support columns obscuring the lines of sight. It was officially opened on December 15, 1950. The first hockey game was held at the Corral on December 26, as the Stampeders defeated the Edmonton Flyers 5–0 in a Western Canada Senior Hockey League game before a standing-room-only crowd of 8,729.

The Stampede Corral has hosted several major events, including the 1972 World Figure Skating Championships, the figure skating and ice hockey events at the 1988 Winter Olympics, as well as rodeo competitions. The Corral is also a frequent venue for the Canada Davis Cup team, with Canada holding a 5–0 all-time record in the Corral in this international tennis challenge. Most recently, Canada defeated Mexico 4–1 in the 2008 tournament.

For years, the Stampede Corral played host to special wrestling supershows promoted by Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling, particularly during the Calgary Stampede. Stampede Wrestling is known for having featured some of the biggest names in pro wrestling history prior to its purchase by World Wrestling Federation in 1984, including Bret Hart, Archie Gouldie, Dan Kroffat and Jake Roberts.

The Stampede Corral houses one of Canada's most extensive private sports photo collections on public display – part of the Calgary Stampede Archives collection. A significant restoration of this photo collection, taking two years and costing over $75,000, was underway in 2016.