Final agreements for Calgary Event Center released with construction expected to begin this year

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The big details that will choreograph the construction and operation of Calgary’s event center were released Thursday, setting the stage for the city’s stated plan to break ground on the project this year.

Final agreements were signed last October between the City of Calgary, the Government of Alberta, the Calgary Stampede and the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC), owner of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, but have not been made public only today.

The details are set out in 16 specific agreements spanning nearly 800 pages, some of which are heavily redacted to “protect sensitive and proprietary information about project partners.”

The event center building will include an 18,000-seat arena, which will replace the Scotiabank Saddledome, as well as a new community ice rink.

“Calgarians looking at these agreements will see a lot of familiar information,” Michael Thompson, the city’s general manager of infrastructure services, said in a statement. “Much of the information contained in these agreements was released in October 2023 with the announcement of the final agreements.”

Other documents range from tax agreements has event management and road use agreements. In a statement, Stuart Dalgleish, chief operating officer and member of the event center steering committee, said 2024 would be a big year for the project.

“Together with the events center, these are critical investments that together lay the foundation for our progression towards a city of two million people,” he said, citing other projects underway in downtown Calgary, such as the expansion of the BMO Convention Centre. and the renovated Victoria Park/Stampede LRT station.

WATCH | Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek explains the project after the deal was announced:

Calgary Mayor says event center project will go beyond just an arena

Officials announced a tentative agreement in April to replace Calgary’s Saddledome. The project will include a new community ice rink, public infrastructure and transport links.

According to the city, permitting and design will be completed between spring and summer of this year. The work should take place between summer and fall.

In January, the city began permitting work and preparatory activities to prepare the site for construction. This involved moving Fifth Street SE between 14th Avenue and 12th Avenue, about half a block east to free up space for the event center block, which will span four hectares (10 acres).

In April 2023, agreement in principle was concluded, which would allow the city and the CSEC to finance a new event center. The provincial government will contribute $330 million toward infrastructure for a new entertainment district and the cost of a new community rink attached to the event center.

Advice. Sonya Sharp, who is also chair of the events center committee, wrote in a statement that she was happy to see the agreements made public.

“I think it’s really valuable that everyone has a chance to understand the details of this project. Work is well underway and Calgarians should expect to see enabling construction activities begin in the coming months. The next major step the public will see is obtaining permits. ” said the Ward 1 councilor.

“2024 will be an important year for this project and for the region. I will be excited to see more details on the design, and I know many Calgarians will be too.”

The design of the new complex is still being finalized. The agreements stipulate that the new arena will incorporate amenities seen in other, newer buildings that now house NHL teams in Edmonton, Las Vegas and Detroit.

The city will pay $537 million, while CSEC will pay $40 million upfront as well as $17 million in annual rent to the city over 35 years, which will increase by 1 percent each year.

Although the arena itself could open in 2026, agreements call for surrounding infrastructure — including the community arena and a new Sixth Street SE underpass to connect the East Village — to open in 2027.

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