Discussions have been going on for what seems like forever, but we have a conclusion: the Calgary Flames are getting a new arena.
The City of Calgary has reached agreements, in principle, with the Province of Alberta, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC), and the Calgary Stampede (CS) to build a Culture and Entertainment District located in The District in downtown Calgary.
“Calgary will be home to one of the greatest arenas and event centres in North America,” said Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.
The overall cost estimate of this is $1.2 billion spread out over a number of areas.
The City of Calgary will contribute $537.3 million to fund the development of the Event Centre, parking structure, enclosed plaza, and 25% of the community rink.
Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek says Jyoti Gondek this isn’t just good for the Flames but the whole city.
“The partnership approach we have taken accomplishes two things: we are building an event centre, and we are also creating the public amenities needed within the Rivers District to build community and enhance the quality of life for all Calgarians.”
CSEC will chip in $40 million upfront and $17 million with a 1% yearly increase over 35 years to offset Event Centre costs, parking, the enclosed plaza, and 25% of the community rink. That is $356 million in present value and $750 million+ over the 35-year term. They will also contribute $1.5 million per year to community sports for a total of $52.5 million over the 35-year term.
The province will add an extra $330 million, while the Calgary Stampede has agreed to certain land sales and transfers that will allow for the development of the Event Centre and the district around it.
Calgary city council approved this in a unanimous vote this afternoon.
The announcement was made today with Premier Smith, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, and representatives from the Calgary Flames and the Calgary Stampede.
The new arena will replace Scotiabank Saddledome, which was built in 1983. It has hosted many major concerts, two Stanley Cup Finals, and several events at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
“Make no mistake, a new Event Centre in Calgary is more than just a building,” added Calgary city councillor Sonya Sharp.
“While there are many ups and downs in professional sports, there can be no doubt that our ownership group wants to win championships for all of our fans in Calgary,” said CSEC CEO John Bean.
Bean also added that Gary Bettman told him this would put the Flames in the rotation to host the NHL Draft and NHL All-Star game.
All parties involved made it clear this is an agreement in principle. The next step is for City administration to begin formal discussions on definitive agreements with all parties, which is expected to be underway through the spring and summer of 2023. The project team is preparing to begin the design and development of the Event Centre, as well as the surrounding district and other infrastructure updates.