Budget issues halt progress on future Calgary Flames arena

Apr 14 2021, 2:59 pm

Plans to move ahead with the development of Calgary’s new arena and event centre have been put on pause due to budget issues and program requirements for the facility.

At a closed city council meeting on April 13, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and their partners at the City of Calgary provided an update on the progress of the event centre, according to Kate Thompson, President and CEO, CMLC.

“We started this project by developing principles and a program that would create a building that Calgarians would be proud to have in their city and over the past several months, the team has developed a design to reach that goal,” said Thompson.

“At this early stage in the project, there is a difference in the current budget estimate and the program requirements for the facility,” continued Thompson. “Given the significance and importance of the project, the parties have jointly agreed to pause the project team to allow time to resolve these challenges.”

The $550 million arena deal between the City of Calgary and Calgary Flames owners was approved by city council in 2019. This deal allows the city to retain ownership of the building, while Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (which owns the Flames) is designated as the primary user of the venue.

According to CMLC, the event centre will be located at the junction of 12th Avenue and 4th Street SE, marking the gateway to Stampede Park in east Victoria Park – the city’s up-and-coming Culture and Entertainment District.

Construction on the future home of the Calgary Flames was originally slated to begin in August 2021, with a projected completion date of May 2024. It is unknown when CMLC will resume development of the project.

“The decision to take this pause is the responsible and prudent approach to ensure we find the best solutions to move the project forward successfully, without incurring any additional costs on the project while these discussions progress,” said Thompson.

“The team is working collaboratively to find a suitable path forward.”

The event centre marks the third major community improvement project in the Rivers District, coming after the BMO Centre expansion and the 17th Avenue extension.

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