If you’re looking for new information about the possibility of a new building for the Calgary Flames, you’ve probably noticed there hasn’t been much openly discussed in the past few months. While there’s a flurry of activity going on behind the scenes in various agencies and with various entities, nothing has been trumpeted about it publicly.
Well, we’re starting to see the very tip of the iceberg in terms of arena-related announcements and activities. This week, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation formally announced what had been informally mentioned in the past: they’re working on a master plan for Victoria Park. The unveiling of that master plan is one in a series of dominoes that will begin to topple during this spring and summer.
The CMLC’s Master Plan is important because of the area it encompasses.
The Master Plan for East Victoria Park will honour and integrate
previous and future plans and projects, including Calgary Stampede’s
envisioned expansion, the City’s quest for a viable site for a new arena
facility, the Green Line extension of Calgary’s LRT and, of course, the
East Village master plan.
Essentially, the Master Plan contains everything south of 9th Avenue down to the Elbow River. That means that Stampede Park – the current home of the Flames (in the Saddledome) and the speculated future home (the vaunted “Plan B”) – will be taken into account.
The Master Plan’s expected June unveiling is the third of four expected dominoes to topple by mid-summer which will tell us almost everything we’ll need to know about the Flames’ future facility.
- How much will a potential “Plan B Arena” cost? Y’know, just an arena and not a gigantic mega-project? The report detailing options, sites and costs associated with such an undertaking is expected to be at City Council before the end of March.
- If the arena goes in Stampede Park, its location is probably dependent on what happens with the Green Line LRT. The alignment of the Green Line through the Beltline – 10th Avenue or 12th Avenue – is expected to be finalized by the Spring, at which point what space is available and where will become pretty clear.
- The CMLC Master Plan is expected to be ready in June. Since we’ll know how much Plan B Arena will cost and where the Green Line LRT will be located, you could probably reasonably expect those two things to be incorporated into the Master Plan in some way – assuming that Council doesn’t kill either of those projects in the interim.
- Finally, fundamentally related but also somewhat unrelated, the Olympic Bid Exploration Committee will have their recommendation on whether Calgary should vie for the 2026 Winter Games in July. If a new arena is included in that bid, it’s bad (because the International Olympic Committee’s new rules dissuade building new stuff) but if the arena is happening anyway independent of the bid, it helps the bid.
Nothing is really happening in front of the curtain right now. But a flurry of activity is happening behind that curtain and when it gradually pulls back between now and July, we’ll know a lot more about the future of Stampede Park and the future of the Flames’ home.