Calgary event center committee scout for sites



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New Calgary arena update February 2023 Image: City of Calgary

As negotiations continue for a new event center in Calgary (Canada), the Chair of the Committee in charge of the project isn’t ruling out that a new arena could be built somewhere other than Victoria Park in the Rivers District.

‘CTV NEWS CALGARY’ stated that Ward 1 Councilor Sonya Sharp said on February 7th that the Committee is looking at “all viable options” for a future arena and didn’t quash the idea that negotiators could consider a return to the West Village in Calgary, an idea the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) first pitched in 2015.

Rich with history, the Victoria Park is one of Calgary’s oldest communities and was named after Queen Victoria in 1889. Victoria Park is now known as the events and culture district, easily accessible by foot or wheels. While exploring, one will find independent retailers, service providers and cozy cafes tucked into historic buildings among innovative high-rises.

The Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation is a privately- owned professional sports and entertainment company based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was formed in 2012 and is owned by N. Murray Edwards, Alvin Libin, Allan Markin, Jeffrey McCaig, Clay Riddell, and Byron Seaman.

Sharp said following the first meeting of the Event Centre Committee in the New Year, “This is a fresh start and we are looking to build an event centre within the City, within downtown and all possible options will be presented.”

‘CTV NEWS CALGARY’ further stated that the proposed idea of a hybrid arena-and-stadium on the creosote-contaminated land in Sunalta was called “dead” by the former Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, in 2017.

Though Sharp wouldn’t confirm that the West Village is again being considered, she also didn’t say it’s off the table.

A deal between the City and the CSEC to split the cost of a $550 million arena in Victoria Park, adjacent to the 19,289-capacity Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, fell apart after costs ballooned to $634 million. The City then launched a new event centre committee and brought in a third-party negotiator to work with the National Hockey League (NHL) team Calgary Flames’ ownership group on its behalf.

Sharp also said the City’s negotiating team, CAA ICON, is talking directly with the Premier of Alberta Danielle Smith’s office about a possible role the province could play in any future project.

Denver, Colorado (US)-based CAA ICON is the industry-leading owner’s representative and strategic management consulting firm for public/private sports and entertainment facility owners and operations, professional franchises and leagues.

She added, “MLA (Ric) McIver is the liaison with the province, but we’ve had our deal structure advisors speak with the Premier’s office directly.”

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