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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
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Enjoying the fun at Spinner's slot roomFollowing the wars and interwar period Edmonton Exhibition Association (EEA) horseracing experienced a resurgence of sorts. Renewed spirits and a growth in leisure time and money proved an ideal match for racing in Alberta. Other prairie cities had been building new grandstands that yielded larger audiences and increased revenue. For the EEA board that was seeking ways to facilitate the organization’s expansion, a grandstand seemed a smart prospect.

The first step was to tear down the old stand, wholly constructed of wood. Timber from the structure was salvaged and used to fashion seating in the baseball park now known as Telus Field. On the site of the previous grandstand, a much larger cement structure rose up.

New grandstand of Northland's racetrackRacing and gaming thrived over the following decades and ongoing renovations and expansions were required. This led to diversification of the grandstand, as it became part of a larger multi-purpose building that offers gaming. The modern-day facility, the Spectrum, houses five floors and a variety of attractions. Recent renovations were completed in 2002.

In the building’s first floor is the slot room where patrons can test their luck and intuition on games such as Sega Royal Ascot. A clear view of the SpectrumAlso found on the main level, though at a further side of the building, is the paddock, where horse connoisseurs and parimutuel investors can get a close up look at the horses that will be racing. 

Inside the Spectrum’s second floor are two busy areas that keep horse racing fans entertained. Seating 300, the bustling Uplinks Sports Theatre provides simulcast racing, which is a live video feed from races as far as China or the Southern United States. With eyes attentively fixed on 10-foot flat screens, Spectrum visitors can root for their top pick while enjoying a café style meal.

Spectrum attractionsFor those seeking to take in live thoroughbred or harness racing while relaxing in a refreshingly stylish environment, Colours Dining Room restaurant is the ideal space. With its open design, plenty of natural lighting, tiered seating, and deliciously prepared meals, watching the horses can be a truly classy affair. An unobstructed view of the track and simulcast feeding televisions placed at each table allow up to 700 people to enjoy the viewing options.

Also part of the Spectrum is the outdoor concrete grandstand that is accessed on the third level and seats 2,000. Now more than 50 years old, this is the original component of the new building.

Scenic surroundings SpectrumOverlooking the racetrack is Eye in the Sky, the space that houses technical staff who help make racing an interactive sport. Unwary of heights, counters, technical callers, popular announcers, judges, and photographers all perch above to get a clear view of the track action. Also located in the higher levels of the Spectrum are the luxury box seats that can accommodate about 400 people within a comfortable closed in environment.

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