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New Flames arena project could include stadium

Calgary Saddledome

A new stadium for the Calgary Stampeders (CFL) and a new Flames arena could be part of a half-billion project under consideration by the owners of the Calgary NHL team, who are seeking a replacement for Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Flames have put together quite the sporting empire in Calgary, with the Stampeders, Flames, junior  Hitmen and more under the same corporate umbrella. It’s no secret the team has been pitching a replacement for the Saddledome, which opened in 1983. And it’s no secret they have also been seeking a replacement for McMahon Stadium, which opened in 1960. The solution: put a stadium and arena in the same project and also include an amateur sports fieldhouse — something the city wants to see as well. From the Calgary Herald:

By bundling in a fieldhouse designed for track meets, indoor soccer and other amateur sports, Flames CEO Ken King is proposing to build something on the top of the city’s own project wish list, and potentially gives the proposal the sort of public benefit that Mayor Naheed Nenshi has said is essential if city hall is to become a project partner.

The indoor multi-sport complex could make the Flames project more “palatable” to the city, said Jason Zaran, incoming chairman of the Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society….

King shared his plans with Nenshi in mid-March, then the mayor relayed it to council in a closed-door session Monday evening, multiple sources have confirmed. But there’s still no formal proposal submitted to council, and it’s unclear when King will finally reveal the ambitious concept to the public, though he did say a month ago the release was a “couple of weeks” away.

The issue, of course, will be any level of public spending on a new arena/stadium project. The city is already looking at a $202-million fieldhouse project, so some of that money could be diverted to the Flames’ mega project. And the city has land that could be used for the project as well. A plan is expected in the next month.

Photo by Heidi Schuyt via; used under Creative Commons license.

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