Flames To Unveil CalgaryNEXT Plans On Tuesday


Much like children waiting for Santa Claus, or Linus for the vaunted Great Pumpkin, Calgary Flames fans have been waiting patiently for news, any kind of news, about the new arena project.

Anything substantial would be nice, really.

Well, the Calgary Flames have invited season ticket holders and the media to information sessions for “CalgaryNEXT,” in the afternoon of Tuesday, August 18. From the press release:

It is a great time to be a sports fan and live in this wonderful and vibrant city of Calgary. We would like to share a proposal for a project that will make all Calgarians and Albertans proud.

This has the potential to be one of Calgary’s most transformative projects at a vital time in our city’s history. This will be our first public discussion on this project.

On August 18th, we will be hosting an information session for media to present the high level scope of the project including a preview of CalgaryNEXT.

This is not a formal launch of the project, but it is an opportunity for us to share what has been done to date and introduce our vision for the future.

In summation, here’s what we think we know about the project proposal:

  1. There will be an arena/stadium/fieldhouse.
  2. It will be in the West Village.
  3. It will be expensive.
  4. The Flames will be spending a lot of their own money.
  5. It will take several years to build.

In terms of specifics, we’ll find out on Tuesday, because the vast majority of the things we think we know about this project, we’ve known about for probably around a year. It’s obviously a process with a ton of moving parts, but I’m just pleased that we’ll finally have official details from the Flames organization beyond “we think people will like it” and “we’re working on it.”

I’m probably not the only one in that boat.

    • Greg

      Did Shelbyville? I’m not in favour of public money going to project like this, but if my tax dollars went to Shelbyville then, yes, I want their tax dollars to come to my city as well.

    • Brent G.

      From what I remember it was the city of Edmonton that got suckered in to footing the public investment. I might be wrong but I distinctly remember AB shutting down the idea immediately.

      • beloch
        • $279-million from Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) and other incremental revenues (increased parking revenue, reallocation of existing subsidy paid to Northlands and new taxes from business in the arena)
        • $125-million from ticket surcharge on all events in the new arena
        • $137.81-million from lease revenue for the Arena
        • $23.68-million in cash from EAC
        • $25-million from other government sources

        Edmonton City Clown Council

        To sum up, the bulk comes from the city. The CRL is basically a chunk taken out of future property taxes that are expected to go up because of the project. The city will borrow to pay for the arena now and then pay down the loan using additional property tax revenue that is assumed to be the result of the arena project. So, it’s basically just municipal taxes, future tense. The ticket surcharge is hilarious, as it suggests most tickets don’t cover the cost of the venue. The lease revenue will be paid by the EAC, so this sort of comes from Katz. The lease is paid yearly and is renegotiable, so this number could go down. Basically, this is what the EAC will eventually pay if nothing goes wrong. If something does go wrong, they’re off the hook. The piddly little chunk from the Edmonton Arena Corp. (EAC) is all that Katz pays upfront. The funding from “other government sources” is from the provincial “Regional Collaboration Program” so, at present, the province has actually paid more for Edmonton’s new arena than the Oilers’ ownership, even if that still isn’t very much. Oh, and who gets to keep all the profits? Katz.

        So yeah, Katz got the city of Edmonton to borrow almost all the cash for his arena, which he’ll then lease. If everything goes well he’ll eventually wind up paying for just over a quarter of the arena’s cost. He put up less than 5% of the cost up-front, is entitled to all the profits, and can weasel out if the profits don’t turn out to be high enough, leaving the city with the bill for taking all the risk.

        Dear Edmonton City Clown Council, I’ll gladly take that deal to start my own business any day of the week!

        Seriously, if the Calgary arena deal resembles the shenanigans Katz pulled on Edmonton in any way I’ll be pretty pissed off. First, we know the Flames’ ownership is rolling in cash and can afford to foot more than 4% of the bill up-front. Second, we’re not idiots. We don’t need an “Arena surcharge” on our tickets to let us know the higher prices we’re paying are related to the team’s new digs. Finally, if the city or province does wind up assuming any portion of the funding, they are owed a corresponding percentage of the profits. Only in Edmonton would the public take all the risk and let Katz take all the profits.

  • Greg

    I say no to provincial money. Me LOVE the Flames. Actually was at the Dome today to buy my nephew a Monahan Jersey. But my tax dollars have NO place in that organization!

  • MontanaMan

    With a federal election two months away, I say squeeze the federal parties for all you can get. Harper needs the Calgary vote so start shipping some federal dollars our way to start this much needed project.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Can’t wait for some details, and for the eventual showing up of Edmonton in all matters regarding to the building of a new arena (from raising of the funds to design to less drama in general). As usual, Calgary will show Edmonton how it’s done.

  • CofRed4Life

    I heard from a “source” that the field house will also be a full sized soccer pitch for a potential pro Soccer team, and that the facility will have elements of public use from the city, instead of just a private stadium. I will be interesting to see if this is true.

  • CofRed4Life

    I’d say it’s about time. I love the Dome, and have great memories there, but it’s time to part with it. Buildings don’t last forever, just the memories we have there.

  • Christian Roatis

    Kind of cool that the way this team is trending, their last year in the Dome has the potential to be a championship one. Would be a hell of a way to bid adieu.

    • RexLibris

      Christian, please remember to hydrate during these hot summer days. Too much sun or heat can cause disorientation and hallucinations and I’d hate to see that happen to you.


  • Christian Roatis

    The clean-up of this contaminated land will be a long and arduous project all in itself. I would imagine all 3 levels of govt will be assisting as they should be.

    • Christian Roatis

      I keep hearing about this contaminated land, nobody seems too concerned that it’s right beside the river.

      Also, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of space for a huge facility and parking on the proposed sight, I wonder if there will be plans to re-route any roads, or even upgrade the Sunalta train station?

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    No public funds for a privately owned asset, please.

    If there is public ownership proportional to public investment, that is a different story.

    • Parallex


      What I want to see is a plan that is (at bare minimum) revenue neutral for the public. Meaning that after factoring in all costs (present and projectable future, direct and indirect), the time value of money, and opportunity cost, whatever funds are put in are eventually returned (preferably with some profit) to the public purse.

    • MontanaMan

      And we know why the NDP’s won the provincial election and why the lefties will likely win the federal election. I want it all but refuse to contribute.

    • Butters

      Don’t worry, the City of Calgary will own it. The Flames won’t want to pay property taxes. Your arena district deal will be similar to the Edmonton and Detroit ones.

  • Butters

    When you see all that the flames foundation has done in regards to arena repairs, new zamboni’s etc around southern alberta and calgary the least the city could do is donate land.

  • Butters

    Beloch, the city of Edmonton asked for provincial funding. “Clown Council” decided the money might not be coming, so they decided to make up the shortfall with CRL revenues. It’s well documented so a Google search will confirm.

    The province did not kick in a dime, not even for the community rink. The Feds contributed 7 million to the community rink only.

    • beloch

      Yup. Looks like they applied but the changeover in governments caused it to go nowhere. Now the city is likely on the hook for it even though there is basically zero support for putting even more money into Katz’ pockets.

      So, no provincial money for arenas. The Flames’ ownership shouldn’t even be asking for it.

  • Slowmo

    Nothing wrong with what is there now the city just helped them renovate the Dome what 4 or 5 yrs ago I love the flames and management does a lot for this city in terms of influx of wealth but if we do this then we no longer see any influx to any one but there projects for yrs to come not smart. If they threaten to go else where it begs the question where would they go that would bring the fan base they have here?