The Calgary Flames’ Quest for a New Home

The Calgary Flames have called the Scotiabank Saddledome home for over 35 years. While the Saddledome has been a fixture of the Calgary skyline and hosted many memorable moments over the years, the arena is now the second oldest in the NHL and no longer meets the standards of a modern sports and entertainment facility. The Flames have been pushing for a new arena for years now to replace their aging home.

After years of negotiating with the city of Calgary, a tentative deal for a new $550 million event center was agreed upon in 2019. The proposed location for the 20,000 seat arena is in Victoria Park, just east of downtown Calgary. However, a number of issues have stalled the final approval of the new arena project. Cost overruns, infrastructure requirements, environmental impact and securing additional funding from the provincial government have delayed the start of construction.

The total cost of the proposed event center is estimated to be over $1 billion once additional infrastructure like roadways and a transit station are included. The city of Calgary and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation have agreed to invest $300 million in the project, with the remaining $250 million expected to come from a Community Revitalization Levy. However, approval of additional funds from the Alberta provincial government is still needed. Concerns have also been raised about the environmental impact of the new arena on the nearby Elbow River and its riparian edge. Addressing these environmental issues may add even more costs to the total project budget.

While the Flames had hoped to start construction on the new arena this year and complete it by 2024, the project has now been delayed indefinitely until all funding and approvals are secured. The Flames organization is understandably frustrated with the lack of progress after investing years of time and resources into plans for a new home. However, important environmental, financial and infrastructural questions remain regarding the proposed Victoria Park location.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has stated that while the city wants to build a new event center, it needs to be at the right cost and consider its impact. There is no easy solution here that satisfies all key stakeholders. The Flames continue to push for a new arena to help make them financially viable and competitive in the NHL. At the same time, the city must ensure any public funds spent are justified and environmentally responsible. With no end in sight to the stalemate, the Calgary Flames stay in limbo waiting for a new place to call home.

The Calgary Flames’ Quest for a New Home

The Calgary Flames have called the Scotiabank Saddledome home for over 35 years. While the Saddledome has been a fixture of the Calgary skyline and hosted many memorable moments over the years, the arena is now the second oldest in the NHL and no longer meets the standards of a modern sports and entertainment facility. The Flames have been pushing for a new arena for years now to replace their aging home.

After years of negotiating with the city of Calgary, a tentative deal for a new $550 million event center was agreed upon in 2019. The proposed location for the 20,000 seat arena is in Victoria Park, just east of downtown Calgary. However, a number of issues have stalled the final approval of the new arena project. Cost overruns, infrastructure requirements, environmental impact and securing additional funding from the provincial government have delayed the start of construction.

The total cost of the proposed event center is estimated to be over $1 billion once additional infrastructure like roadways and a transit station are included. The city of Calgary and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation have agreed to invest $300 million in the project, with the remaining $250 million expected to come from a Community Revitalization Levy. However, approval of additional funds from the Alberta provincial government is still needed. Concerns have also been raised about the environmental impact of the new arena on the nearby Elbow River and its riparian edge. Addressing these environmental issues may add even more costs to the total project budget.

While the Flames had hoped to start construction on the new arena this year and complete it by 2024, the project has now been delayed indefinitely until all funding and approvals are secured. The Flames organization is understandably frustrated with the lack of progress after investing years of time and resources into plans for a new home. However, important environmental, financial and infrastructural questions remain regarding the proposed Victoria Park location.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has stated that while the city wants to build a new event center, it needs to be at the right cost and consider its impact. There is no easy solution here that satisfies all key stakeholders. The Flames continue to push for a new arena to help make them financially viable and competitive in the NHL. At the same time, the city must ensure any public funds spent are justified and environmentally responsible. With no end in sight to the stalemate, the Calgary Flames stay in limbo waiting for a new place to call home.

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