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Deal reached on new Calgary arena; construction begins in 2024

The deal reached for a $1.22-billion (C) new Calgary arena and accompanying redevelopment in April is now final, as the city, province, the Calgary Stampede and the Calgary Flames (NHL) formally moved forward with an agreement.

Technically, it was the owner of the Flames–Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC)–that participated in the agreement.

Work will begin on the new arena in 2024, with a completion date of 2026-2027 NHL season. The Saddledome will be torn down once the new arena opens. The rough budget: New Arena, $800 million; Attached Parking, $35.4 million; Enclosed Plaza, $9.5 million; On-Site Public Realm, $28.7 million; Community Rink, $52.8 million; Transportation improvements, infastructure, and other district benefits, $238.4 million; Other Costs, $58.5 million. Funding comes from the city of Calgary ($537.3 million to fund the development of the Event Centre, parking structure, the enclosed plaza, and 25 percent of the community rink), CSEC ($40 million upfront and $17 million per year, increasing 1 percent per year) over 35 years to offset Event Centre costs, parking, the enclosed plaza, 25 percent of the community rink and $1.5 million per year to community sports), and the province ($300 million to fund transportation improvements, land, infrastructure and site enabling costs, including off-site and on-site utility servicing costs, public realm and site clearing/demolition; $30 million to fund 50 percent of the community rink).

Besides the $800C million price tag for the new arena, the $1.22 billion area will feature a suite of public amenities and public infrastructure, including a new community rink also serving as a Flames practice site, improvements to public spaces and connections to The District, and commercial opportunities, all of which will be anchored by a new publicly owned Event Centre.

Illustration courtesy City of Calgary.

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