There has been a lot of hype from citizens regarding the newly proposed mega-sports arena (A.K.A CalgaryNEXT). This new arena will replace the Saddledome and the McMahon Stadium so that all Flames, Stampeders, Rouchneck games take place in one compound. This arena will also welcome amateur sporting events as well, including: a soccer field, a 400-metre indoor track and 30,000 seats. Mayor Nenshi refers to the idea as “intriguing,” but would like to further investigate the plan from all angles.
After this week’s press conference with Calgary's Sports and Entertainment CEO and president, Ken King, we’ve learned more about this proposal and the reactions residents are having. There appears to be positive and negative potentials with this plan and hence the concerned citizens. An online petition opposing this project has been created and creatively name CalgaryNOPE.
Here is a summary of the main points surrounding the CalgaryNEXT project:
This Mega-Sports Project is estimated to cost at least $890 million:
The proposed funding allocation breaks down as follows:
- $200 million from Taxpayers
- $250 million from Ticket Tax
- $200 million from Private Equity Owners (Owners of Flames, Stamps)
- $240 million from Community Revitalization Levy
The proposed arena location is in the Sunalta-West Village area where the Greyhound Bus Station sits. There are two ways to look at this potential location:
- This area will require soil remediation due to a former creosote plant from decades ago and the associated costs of decontamination are unknown at this time.
- Situating the Saddledome in the West Village removes it from the flood zone and will revitalize this neglected area of the city.
This project can benefit the city of Calgary and it’s residents: By not only creating thousands of jobs and stimulating our slower economy, but by encouraging tourism. If and when the arena is built, there are additional proposed plans to build restaurants, condos and office buildings in the area and this will provide many labour jobs for decades to come.
If the CalgaryNEXT project is initiated, it can be the catalyst our economy needs to regain economic strength. However, the current proposal requires a large number of taxpayers’ dollars to implement the project.
So what are you for: CalgaryNEXT or CalgaryNOPE?
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