CalgaryNEXT is a new proposal for the underused West Village that will bring Calgary’s sports facilities to a whole new level. But more than that it promises a whole new neighbourhood along the Bow River.
Mayor Nenshi’s statement on a new arena/fieldhouse proposal
The following is a statement from Mayor Naheed Nenshi regarding the “CalgaryNext” announcement made earlier today:
“Today, the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (the company that owns the Calgary Flames and Stampeders, among other professional sports teams) released an intriguing proposal for a new arena, sports fieldhouse, and football stadium. This project has been in the works for some time, and I am pleased that the Flames ownership group is now engaging the public on what they would like to see. I also appreciate that the ownership group has come forward with a definitive financial commitment—something that has rarely been seen in other cities.
However, there are a number of challenges that must now be addressed:
- The proposal has not been part of The City’s comprehensive capital planning process, and does not form part of the plan, under which the City’s capital funds are fully allocated through 2018.
- The proposal includes incorporating The City’s proposed (and much-needed) fieldhouse into the facility. However, that project, while a very high priority for the City, remains unfunded.
- The funding proposal includes a $250 million “ticket tax”, but it is unclear if The City will be asked to provide the upfront financing for this.
- The proposed site requires significant expenditures to remediate the environmental contamination there. That remediation is also unfunded.
- In addition, the proposal requires the contribution of land, a community revitalization levy and significant investments in infrastructure to make the West Village a complete and vibrant community.
Therefore, there are very significant requirements for public funding beyond the fieldhouse funding, and there is currently no money.
I have said for a long time—and continue to strongly believe—that public money must be for public benefit and not private profit. The question for Council, the ownership group, and all Calgarians is whether this proposal meets that test.
That said, I truly appreciate the efforts of the ownership group in bringing forward an innovative project in a thoughtful, professional, and ethical way. I firmly believe that these Calgarians want to do something exceptional for our community.
City Council will ensure that that there is significant public engagement and will work cooperatively with the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and the other orders of government to determine whether this project is viable.”
CalgaryNEXT by the Numbers
- 1 Hotel/Conference Centre
- 750 Residences
- 100 Shops
- 20 Restaurants
- 18,000 Seat multi-purpose event centre (http://www.calgarynext.com/arena-event-centre.php)
- 30,000 Seat multi-sport fieldhouse stadium (http://www.calgarynext.com/multisport-fieldhouse-stadium.php)
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement on the #CalgaryNEXT project:
“The Calgary Flames are an exemplary member of the National Hockey League and the NHL are excited to learn that Calgary is taking the next step toward the introduction of a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility for its community and professional sports teams. While this is an extremely important initiative for the team, it is even more important for Calgary’s fans and the community.”
CFL Commissioner Jeffrey L. Orridge’s statement on the #CalgaryNext project:
“A plan for a beautiful new home for the Calgary Stampeders means an even stronger Canadian Football League. It builds on the momentum we have seen with new or refurbished stadiums now in place or under construction across the league. And it marks a new era for the City of Calgary – one of Canada’s greatest sporting centres and the proud home of our defending Grey Cup Champions.”
Where will it be?
The West Village as it exists today is limited by its former industrial use and its current use for automobile retail and a bus terminal. Its former use was by the Canada Creosote Company, who operated a wood preserving facility there until the mid-1960s. Dealing with site contamination left behind by Canada Creosote over a wide area of the proposed development will be the primary step in revitalizing the West Village. Visit the Canada Creosote Testing page on the Alberta Governments Environment and Parks website.
Today, the site is underused and occupied almost entirely by auto dealerships and the Greyhound bus terminal. (http://www.calgarynext.com/location.php)
What about Funding?
Live. Work. Play.