By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of the Calgary Hitmen
The City of Calgary and the Flames will soon have a new state-of-the-art home.
On Tuesday afternoon, the City of Calgary and Calgary City Council approved the proposed deal between Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and Alberta’s highest populated city, that will see the two sides splitting the costs of a new $550 million event centre in Victoria Park.
The vote on Tuesday was 11-4 in favour of the new project, with City Councillors Druh Farrell, George Chahal, Evan Woolley and Jeromy Farkas standing against the large endeavour. Last Monday, the tentative new arena deal was announced at a press conference downtown.
The approved proposal will see a brand new, state-of-the-art, multi-sport facility erected in the city of 1.5 million for the 2024-25 NHL season. The 19,000 seat arena will be built between Fifth Street and Olympic Way and 12th and 14th Avenues southeast, in the Victoria Park neighbourhood - just down the street from the Flames' current 37-year-old home.
The new arena will be the exclusive home to the NHL's Calgary Flames, the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen and the National Lacrosse League's Calgary Roughnecks. This new venue will certainly attract many world-class musical performances, much like the shows that have been held/scheduled for Edmonton's new Rogers Arena.
Coming in at roughly $550 million, the total costs associated with the new Alberta arena will be spilt evenly between the City of Calgary and CSEC. With each party set to dish out $275 million in the coming years for the new sports venture, the business endeavour is expected to bring in roughly $400 million in projected returns to the City of Calgary within the next 35 years, making this certain proposal worthwhile, longterm.
This approved proposal guarantees that the Flames will remain in Calgary for the duration of those 35 years, playing out of the soon-to-be newest NHL arena. CSEC will pay the City of Calgary $250K annually for the naming rights to the arena for the first 10 years of the deal. The name of the new arena has yet to be determined, as has the shape - or potential resurgence of the historic saddle - going forward.
The current Scotiabank Saddledome would be torn down following the completion of the $550 million project, mainly at the expense of the City. Of the $13.8 million in costs associated with the demolition and reclamation project, Calgary will pay $12.4 million, while CSEC will cover $1.4 million.