New NHL rink to anchor Calgary’s Rivers District
By Adam FreillCommercial Construction
City, province, Flames ownership and Calgary Stampede announce details of plan to further develop the Rivers District.
The City of Calgary has reached agreements, in principle, with the Province of Alberta, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) and Calgary Stampede (CS) to proceed with a significant update to the city’s Culture + Entertainment District that will bring a new home rink to the Calgary Flames.
Located in The District, downtown Calgary, the plans call for a suite of public amenities and public infrastructure, including a new community rink, improvements to public spaces, connections to The District, and commercial opportunities, all of which will be anchored by a new publicly owned modern Event Centre with an arena that will replace the aging Scotiabank Saddledome.
“This project is another signal to the market that Calgary is making strong investments in its future,” said Mayor Jyoti Gondek. “The partnership approach we have taken accomplishes two things: we are building an event centre, and we are also creating the public amenities needed within the Rivers District to build community and enhance quality of life for all Calgarians.”
“Make no mistake, this project is about more than just a single building. It’s fulfilling our vision of a home for culture, sports, and entertainment. It’s a vital investment in our city’s future prosperity, vibrancy and growth,” stated chair of the event centre committee, councillor Sonya Sharp. “A little over a hundred years and 1.3 million people later, we have a new Big Four — four partners committed to building a community hub that will serve us for generations to come.”
“Along with Edmonton’s Rogers Place, Alberta will now have two of the best and most modern event centres in all the world,” added Alberta Premier, Danielle Smith.
The project will include a new four-lane underpass under train tracks with wide sidewalks at 6th Street S.E., providing pedestrian, wheeling, and vehicle connections, as well as a community rink with seating for 1,000, indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, as well as the event centre that will be sized to host major events, including the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
“We are excited to be part of the announcement of a new event centre and community rink that will both be home for the Calgary Flames, Calgary Hitmen, Calgary Roughnecks and Calgary Wranglers. And this announcement will help us put Calgary and the province back on the map for all major North American concerts,” said CSEC president and CEO John Bean.
“The Calgary Stampede has enjoyed having the Calgary Flames as a neighbour since they arrived in 1980,” reflected Stampede CEO, Joel Cowley. “We are honoured and excited to be a partner in this development that will contribute to a world-class landscape for our Calgary community. When combined with other developments, both existing and planned, an event centre complex of this magnitude will provide an anchor to attract and host the world in Calgary’s Culture + Entertainment District.”
The City of Calgary will contribute 44 per cent of the total cost of the $1.2 billion project, with the province and CSEC contributing the remaining 56 per cent.
Next steps include the city administration formalizing definitive agreements with all parties by this summer, while the project team prepares to begin the design and development stages of the event centre, as well as the supporting infrastructure in the area.