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Event Centre Agreements

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

On December 5, The City of Calgary signed agreements with the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and its affiliates (CSEC), the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Ltd. (Stampede) and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC). Copies of City agreements related to design, construction and use of the Event Centre.

These agreements set out how the new Event Centre will be built, owned and managed, as well as ensure that costs, obligations and benefits are well-defined. Key points from the final agreements include:

  • The City and CSEC have entered into a 35-year arrangement, as documented in the Management and Lease Agreement, with an option to extend for some years beyond that.
  • CSEC will be responsible for the operating, maintenance and repair costs of the Event Centre (other than major structural repairs).
  • The total capital cost of the Event Centre is estimated at $550 million, with both parties contributing $275 million toward the cost of designing and constructing the Event Centre.
  • The City will own the Event Centre and the land it is constructed on.
  • CMLC will act as the development manager for the Event Centre and be responsible for the design, procurement and construction of the facility.
  • CMLC will conduct public engagement during 2020.
  • The City will receive facility fees, defined usage of the Event Centre for public events, as well as other benefits outlined on this page.

On July 28, 2021 Council approved the terms of the amended agreement which included:

  • The City will contribute an additional $12.5M to the overall project budget. The new budget estimate is $608.5M. This brings The City’s portion of the Event Centre budget to $287.5M. CSEC will fund the additional $321M.
  • CSEC will transition to the role of development manager for the Event Centre project. In taking on this role, CSEC also becomes accountable for any costs overruns above and beyond the new budget estimate. The City maintains a level of oversight to ensure adherence to project principles and framework throughout the project.

Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) remains the stewards for the delivery of the Rivers District Master Plan for Calgary’s Culture + Entertainment District and projects already underway including the BMO Centre Expansion, 17th Ave Extension and Stampede Station rebuild and Stampede Trail festival street.

  • Facility fees will be 9.5 per cent and 8 per cent, for concerts and general events and CSEC sporting events respectively. Two per cent of all facility fees will go to The City of Calgary to help offset project costs over time.
  • The City will lead development of a mobility and event management plan to facilitate access and flow for all modes of transportation in the area. It will balance the needs of the Event Centre operations with the goals and objectives of the Rivers District Master Plan and area to ensure people can move safely and congestion is managed appropriately before and after events.

The City will continue to fund capital improvements to the road, pedestrian and transit networks and will jointly fund operating costs required in conjunction with CSEC.

Guiding principles

The City was guided by the following July 30, 2018 Council-approved principles when negotiating definitive agreements:

  1. The Event Centre should be a gathering place for all Calgarians that includes, but is not 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. The Event Centre could be a partnership between The City of Calgary and external parties.
  6. While negotiations will be kept private, there will be engagement with the public throughout the process whenever possible to ensure transparency.
  7. If 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.

Financial terms

The total capital cost of the Event Centre is estimated at $608.5 million.

No municipal property tax increases were proposed to fund the capital cost of the Event Centre: The City’s share of the investment includes capital budget funding primarily from the Major Projects Capital Reserve over the design and construction period.

Key financi​al terms within the agreements signed by The City of Calgary include
Key financial terms within the agreements signed by The City of Calgary include: $​287.5 M ​The City’s capital investment in the new Event Centre, excluding transactional costs and demolition of the Saddledome.
Key financial terms within the agreements signed by The City of Calgary include: ​$250,000 ​The amount The City will receiv​​e each year for ten years based on its share of the naming rights.
Key financial terms within the agreements signed by The City of Calgary include: ​2%​ ​The percentage The City will get in ticket revenues for all events hosted in the Event Centre. The City’s share of this net facility fee is capped at $3 million per year for the first five years of the lease term.
Key financial terms within the agreements signed by The City of Calgary include: ​$200,000 ​CSEC will create a program to provide $200,000 a year (indexed to inflation) in ticket and hospitality packages.
Key financial terms within the agreements signed by The City of Calgary include: ​$1.5 million each year ​The Flames Foundation will contribute $1.5 million (escalating at two per cent for inflation) to various community sport organizations for each year of the lease.

Land ownership

  • The City will own 100 per cent of the Event Centre, including the lands on which it is located.
  • Agreements have been made to exchange lands with the Stampede (Saddledome lands for certain other City owned lands on Stampede Park.)
  • The City has also given CSEC the option to acquire certain lands in the Rivers District at a price equal to fair market value should they become available. This land includes the area that currently hosts The City’s Victoria Park Transit Centre; also known as the “bus barns.” This option will expire after 10 years from occupancy of the Event Centre.

Design and construction

  • CSEC will be responsible for the project management of the Event Centre through the appointment of a new development manager –CSE Development Management Corporation – and an amended project decision-making structure. They are also taking on increased financial responsibility share and are responsible for cost over-runs.
  • Decisions on items such as project budget, schedule, and construction will be made by CSEC.
  • Decisions on items such as material design changes, building structure and other elements important to City vision and policy, and project fundamental principles, will be made jointly between The City and CSEC.

Public benefits

The finalization of Event Centre agreements not only launches a formal process to design and build this new facility, it also represents a great opportunity for the coordinated development of major building projects expected to accelerate the revitalization of the Rivers District and East Victoria Park. This work will also support The City’s Downtown Strategy to further Calgary’s economic recovery and resilience.

The 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.
  • 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.

For more information, please see Event Centre FAQs and Event Centre main page

This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​