We may finally be a step closer to some substantive discussion about a new Calgary Flames arena and an end to the never-ending story that is “The Future of the Scotiabank Saddledome.” On Monday, Calgary city council will debate the merits of a proposed Victoria Park arena project. On Friday afternoon, the report to be debated was released on the City’s website.
JUST IN; This is where City of Calgary suggests putting new Flames NHL arena; two Stampede parking-lot blocks north of Saddedome pic.twitter.com/oiRcLqY68S
— Jason Markusoff (@markusoff) April 21, 2017
The proposed spot for the new building is in the two big parking spots located north of the Saddledome and just east of the Cowboys Casino. The report makes zero mention of cost, as the point was just to determine feasibility, but it mentions that discussions on budgetary needs are ongoing to determine if the concept is actually viable. For what it’s worth, the methodology to choose the space was effectively to “break out” the event centre concept from CalgaryNEXT and find a suitable enough space for it. As you can see from the scale of the above map, the space chosen would fit the Saddledome’s footprint easily.
How would it work? Well, the parking lots are owned by the Stampede Board. The new building would be built, the Saddledome would then be demolished, and the Stampede Board would trade the land for the new building to the Flames for the land where the Saddledome was. The location of the proposed building would put it right nearby the new Green Line LRT – which would probably help with the lost parking spots – and because of its proximity to the East Village and placement in the Rivers Community Revitalization Levy area, the new building could receive CRL funding for things like utilities and infrastructure tie-ins.
It’s hard to compare this proposal with the Flames’ CalgaryNEXT concept without seeing costs, but this option seems to align well with the developments already underway in the East Village and planned for the greater Stampede Park area. And the proposal’s proximity to the LRT and the East Village might make it easier for the City to kick in some financial support without straight up forking over millions of infrastructure dollars to the Flames willy nilly.