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Event Centre

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Event Centre

The City of Calgary, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and its affiliates (CSEC), the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited (Stampede), and Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) signed agreements on December 5, 2019 that will see the construction of a new Event Centre in east Victoria Park.

On January 13, 2020, The City released highlights of these agreements and well as PDF texts of the major contracts to which it was considered a signatory. These documents define how the new Event Centre will be built, owned, managed and governed, as well as ensure that costs, obligations and benefits are well-defined. Learn more about the agreements.

The Event Centre will be a catalyst for redevelopment in the Rivers District and an anchor for a public festival street. It will become a new home to the Calgary Flames, Hitmen and Roughnecks and attract world-leading performing artists and major events.

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Rejuvenated Stampede Trail rendering, bustling with people, Victoria Park events centre in the background

Artist's conceptual rendering of rejuvenated Stampede Trail

The concept

The Event Centre and surrounding festival street will be a year-round, permanent gathering place for all Calgarians to enjoy affordable programming and activities like concerts, assemblies, festivals and amateur and professional sporting events.

The Event Centre will replace the Saddledome, the current home of the Calgary Flames, which was built for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.

The Event Centre will be a cornerstone in The City's Culture and Entertainment District. It will include an arena with up to 19,000 seats and may include a smaller arena.

The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) will be leading planning and construction of the project. CMLC will conduct public engagement during 2020. Construction of the new arena is expected to begin in late 2021 and is expected to take approximately three years. The Saddledome will be demolished after occupancy of the new Event Centre.

This development will provide a significant opportunity for private sector investment in the district and the development of under-used lands. It also helps support The City’s Downtown Strategy to further Calgary’s economic recovery and resilience.

Procurement process

CMLC has commenced the procurement process to select the project team that will design and build the facility, oversee construction logistics, and ensure the new event centre integrates seamlessly with the broader redevelopment of the Rivers District. All RFP’s will be issued on MERX, Biddingo, and APC​.

For more information regarding the procurement process, please visit https://www.calgarymlc.ca/eventcentre​.

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Event centre conceptual image
 
Event centre conceptual image
 
 
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How much will a new Event Centre cost?

The City and CSEC have entered into a 35-year arrangement as documented in the management and lease agreement, with an option to extend years beyond that. The total capital cost of the Event Centre is estimated at $550 million — both parties will contribute $275 million.

See “Event Centre Agreements​” page for more information.

Where will the Event Centre be located?

The site is located immediately north of Stampede Park on a two-block site bounded by 12 Avenue SE, 5 Street SE, 14 Avenue SE, and Olympic Way SE. The approximate 2.9-hectare site is currently owned by the Stampede and used for parking and roadway. 

Event Centre location in Victoria Park

Map of the Event Centre location

How does this benefit Calgarians?

The new Event Centre is a strategic investment in our city’s future, a partnership with long-term public benefit. These benefits include:

  • Attracting and retaining young talent in a re-energized, entrepreneurial and socially vibrant city.
  • Calgary being included in tours by world-leading performing artists, major events and festivals.
  • Solidifying Calgary’s place as a major destination for visitors from around the world.
  • Creating another exciting place for Calgarians to gather, strengthen relationships and celebrate.
  • The Event Centre being a catalyst for attracting private sector investment to the district and the development of under-used lands. Other projects that will benefit the area include the BMO Centre expansion currently underway, Stampede LRT Station upgrades, as well as construction of a festival space on Olympic Way that CMLC will construct for use by CSEC, the Stampede, The City and community organizations.
  • Community sports organizations receiving a contribution from The Flames Foundation of $1.5 million (escalating at 2 per cent for inflation) each year over the lease term.
  • The City receiving some access to the Event Centre for non-commercial events. If a secondary arena is constructed, community organizations would have access to it.
  • Revenues and benefits are defined in the signed agreements​. This includes tax revenue that will be generated from the street-facing retail portion of the Event Centre and other developments in the Rivers District.

 

​​​​Frequently Asked Questions about the Event Centre​​​​​​​


Additional information

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The Event Centre Assessment Committee was created in June 2018. In October 2018, Council approved that the Committee, on behalf of The City, re-engage in partnership conversations with Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation and its affiliates (CSEC) regarding a new Event Centre, based on a set of guiding principles, including that public money must be used for public benefit.

Council authorized Administration to negotiate and execute definitive documents relating to the design and construction of the new Event Centre in east Victoria Park on July 30, 2019.

On December 5, 2019, The City of Calgary signed agreements with the CSEC and its affiliates, the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Ltd. and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC). Copies of the agreements The City is party to are available here

For more information on the Event Centre and the Culture and Entertainment District concept, see:

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May 28, 2018 The Event Centre Assessment Committee was established, with Councillor Jeff Davison as Chair, and Councillor Ward Sutherland as Vice-Chair.  Councillor Shane Keating joined as an additional member.
June 25, 2018 The Terms of Reference for the Event Centre Assessment Committee were adopted. These terms include the mandate, composition and governance of the Committee.
July 30, 2018 The Event Centre Assessment Committee adopted the following principles to be included in the Terms of Reference. They are:
  1. The Event Centre should be a gathering place for all Calgarians that includes, but not be limited to: concerts, assemblies, festivals, professional and amateur sports, linked to an outdoor gathering space.
  2. Public funds must be used for public benefit, including but not limited to improving access and availability for individuals and groups, while also providing economic benefits for the Calgary economy.
  3. The Event Centre must be a catalyst to attract further vibrancy and investment as an anchor for further development in a mixed-use neighbourhood.
  4. The Event Centre must be viable and sustainable as its own entity while contributing as part of a comprehensive master plan vision that supports The City of Calgary's planning objectives and enhances our communities' brand and reputation.
  5. It is understood that a proposed Event Centre could be a partnership between The City of Calgary and external parties.
  6. Although negotiations will be kept private, there will be engagement with the public throughout the process whenever possible to ensure transparency.
  7. In the event that a funding agreement for an Event Centre is reached between The City of Calgary and external groups, it must be made public and presented to Council for final decision.

The Committee also received an update from Calgary Municipal Land Corporation on public engagement related to Victoria Park.

October 5, 2018 The Committee received a report from the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) that detailed the vision for the Cultural and Entertainment District, with renderings of a proposed Event Centre.
October 9, 2018 Council directed the Event Centre Assessment Committee, on behalf of the City, to re-engage in partnership conversations with Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation regarding a new Event Centre within the culture and entertainment district.
December 14, 2018 Committee heard from Ernst & Young, who spoke about the methodology of an Economic Impact Assessment on the Rivers District revitalization, which include the Event Centre, BMO Expansion, and Arts Commons renovations.
December 18, 2018 Funding was announced by the Government of Alberta with the City of Calgary on December 18, 2018.
January 25, 2019 Ernst & Young presented the Economic Impact Assessment Study on the Rivers District Revitalization to Committee.  They found that "Having gathered the appropriate data for the three proposed projects, the quantitative modelling results project a positive economic impact, both during construction and in ongoing operations."  Full report
January 28, 2019 Council adopted a Workplan for a potential Event Centre. Full plan
July 29, 2019 City Council votes on whether to ratify the agreements.
July 22 to July 28, 2019 7-day public comment period.
July 22, 2019
  • The City of Calgary and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) agree to fundamental terms and conditions for the development and construction of a new Event Centre in East Victoria Park.
  • The City and the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede (CES) agree to fundamental terms and conditions for a land exchange to support construction of the Event Centre and demolition of the Saddledome.
December 5, 2019 The City of Calgary, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC), the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited (Stampede), and Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) sign definitive agreements, that will see the construction of a new Event Centre in east Victoria Park.
January 13, 2020 Major agreements to which The City of Caglary to a party to are released, along with a citizen summary of the terms, principles and benefits of these agreements. Learn more about the agreements.
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On July 30, 2019 Council received into its Corporate Record almost 5,200 submissions received from the public regarding the Event Centre. The City of Calgary reviewed the submissions and posted all comments received from the public. The posted submissions were received by the City Clerk’s Office between July 22, 2019 at 7:13 p.m. to July 29, 2019 at 1:51 p.m. All comments received have had personal information removed in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.​​​

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