Rogers signs deal with Oilers, Rexall Place

Rexall Place in Edmonton.(CP/Paul Chiasson)

Rogers Communications says it’s investing more than $700 million in Alberta over the next four years, including expanding its high-speed network in the province and opening several dozen retail outlets to take advantage of the province’s strong economy.

Toronto-based Rogers says it sees potential growth for its telecom and media services in the Western province, where it will compete against major players Shaw Communications (TSX:SJR.B), Telus (TSX:T) and Bell (TSX:BCE).

Toronto-based Rogers also says it will open almost 50 retail outlets for its TV, Internet, home phone and cellphone services in Alberta.

It will expand its high-speed network with Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology to more of the province’s communities and also offer more telecom services to business customers, particularly those in the oilpatch.

The company noted it has already invested more than $1 billion in its network in the province over the last decade.

“It continues to be a market where there’s lots of growth potential, where the population is growing strongly, and the economy booming based on the strength of oil and expanding into many other areas as well,” Rob Bruce, president of the company’s communications division, said in a release Tuesday.

Rogers recently bought Pivot Data Centres in Calgary and Edmonton for $155 million from Sverica International, a private equity investment firm.

Rogers also announced it has lead sponsorship and marketing rights for the Oilers, arena Rexall Place and major junior team Edmonton Oil Kings for the next 13 years. That will include advertising placements and arena signs.

Rogers also owns and operates the Toronto Blue Jays and the Rogers Centre in Toronto and has a 38 per cent stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, a professional sports company that has among its properties the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leaks, NBA’s Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC of Major League Soccer.

The company is also the lead sponsor or broadcast partner of the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leaf, tennis’ Rogers Cup, international soccer and mixed martial arts UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).

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