On Monday, June 27th 2016, City Council heard the response from the Calgary Flames/Calgary Sports Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) to the City's evaluation of the CalgaryNext proposal. Essentially they challenged most of the City's evaluation of their proposal and asked to continue discussions and "negotiations" with the City as to their proposal to build a new arena, football field and fieldhouse in the West Village.
Council, in the end, decided to ask city staff to continue working with CSEC on further evaluation and report back to Council in October this year.
That said, I voted against continuing to do further work on the West Village proposal. In my mind, there are a number of challenges that since the initial floating of the idea almost a year ago:
• There is too much public money being expected to be into the project for a private purpose.
• The ideal location for the Fieldhouse remains at Foothills Athletic Park.
• The cost of the remediation remains very high.
• There isn’t good transit connection to the site.
• And finally, and probably the biggest concern, is around the Community Revitalization Levy (CRL). The value required out of a CRL just isn’t there and the expectations of the CSEC is that the CRL would pay for a private development first.
With those reservations, I believe we shouldn’t spend any more money exploring this option and move on to Plan B. But, Council disagreed with me, with a vote of 12-3 in support of doing further work on CalgaryNext.
A report will be coming back to Council in fall 2016 about this.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.