Calgary Flames secure approval for new arena

The NHL Calgary Flames have moved another step closer to getting a new arena, thanks to Calgary City Council having cast an affirmative vote on the agreement previously reached by the city, the Flames and Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Ltd. for the development and construction of a new public sports and entertainment event centre.


NHL Commissioner, Gary Beltman, said:

We could not be more thrilled. This is a great day for Calgary, the Flames and hockey. We look forward to launching an exciting future for this wonderful team in its new home and are grateful to the citizens of Calgary, the City Council and Mayor [Naheed] Nenshi.


The proposed arena – with a capacity of up to 19,000 – would cost an estimated CAN$550m (US$419m/€377m).


Construction on the project is slated to begin in 2021 and is expected to take approximately three years to complete.


Ken King, Vice Chairman of Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC), which owns the Calgary Flames, said:

Thank you to the Events Centre Assessment Committee for their hard work along with the City, The Stampede, and Calgary Municipal Land Corporation [CMLC] in reaching this agreement. As an organization, and on behalf of our ownership group, we are proud to call this city home, and pleased to be investing in a district that will embody Calgary’s energy and sense of community. We would also like to add our thanks to City Manager Glenda Cole, CMLC’s Michael Brown, volunteer Barry Munro, the Mayor and City Council for their important role in the process.


As officials have confirmed, the project cost would be shared 50-50 by the city and the Flames, with the city getting 100 percent ownership of the arena.


The partners now will attempt to finalise legal agreements and coordinate public engagement on design and use of the surrounding area.


Mayor Nenshi said:

For years, I’ve been saying any investment of public money must have public benefit. This deal does that. It’s a fair deal. I’m pleased that it will allow us to move forward on the important work of city building, especially in East Victoria Park. Given their success in building and designing the East Village, I’m looking forward to the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation’s design, engagement and community integration on this project.


Scotiabank Saddledome has been the Flames’ home since it opened in 1983 and is the second-oldest arena in the NHL; Madison Square Garden*, home of the New York Rangers, being the oldest, having opened in 1968, however it underwent a US$1bn renovation in 2013.


The Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League and the Calgary Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League, each owned by CSEC, also would play at the proposed arena, which would be located just north of the Saddledome on land owned by the Stampede.


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