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Event Centre

Event Centre

Project update – July 2020

On July 10, the Event Centre public engagement results were released by The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC). As the project development manager, CMLC held a series of engagement events (January-March 2020) to gather Calgarians’ input into the design and function of the facility and surrounding public spaces. The report with detailed findings is available on CMLC’s website.

Event Centre construction is set to begin in 2021 with completion anticipated in 2024. 

The new Event Centre is a showcase of The City‘s commitment to invest in our community and Calgary’s future. It's a vital project for bolstering our local economy and inspiring a vibrant downtown. As a catalyst for investment and redevelopment in the Rivers District, the economic impacts will benefit all citizens.  

The Event Centre and festival street will be a year-round, permanent gathering place for Calgarians. It will be home to the Calgary Flames, Hitmen and Roughnecks and all who cheer them on. Between sporting events, the venue will attract major events and the world’s best performing artists, creating a hub for connecting community, entertainment and sport.

Construction of the new facility is expected to begin in late 2021 and will take approximately three years. The Saddledome, built for the 1988 Winter Olympics and current home of the Calgary Flames, will be demolished once the new centre opens its doors.

Project background

Recent milestones

Council approved plans for the Event Centre in July 2019. In December, The City of Calgary, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) and its affiliates, the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited (Stampede) and The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) signed agreements for the project.

From January to March 2020, CMLC – the project development manager – engaged public input to inform the design and function of the facility and surrounding public spaces. The report with detailed findings is available on CMLC’s website.

In June 2020, CMLC announced the firms selected to lead the design and construction of Calgary’s new Event Centre:

  • The Prime Design Team -- Dialog (Calgary) and HOK (Kansas City, Missouri)
  • Construction Management -- CANA Construction (Calgary) and Mortenson (Minneapolis)
  • Specialty                                           
    • Structural engineering: Entuitive and Thornton
    • Electrical engineering: Dialog, ME and Designcore
    • Mechanical engineering: Remedy and ME

DIALOG + HOK partnership blends local experience in leading the design of iconic Calgary projects like the Central Library (above) and international sports expertise in the design of projects such as the Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta) (above right, Photo credit: Michael Robinson)

The Event Centre is one of several infrastructure projects to which The City has made a significant city-building and financial commitment. The work these teams have been entrusted to do will contribute significantly to the Culture & Entertainment District and have a lasting impact on our city.

- STUART DALGLEISH
General Manager, Planning and Development,
City of Calgary and Event Centre Steering Committee memberl

The concept

The Event Centre and surrounding festival street will be a year-round, permanent gathering place for all Calgarians to enjoy accessible 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. Construction of the new Event Centre 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.

The development will provide a significant opportunity for public and 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.

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. 

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.
  • 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.

 

Additional information

Related links and resources

Event Centre report to Council

Background

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:

Project milestones

Date  
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.

Oct. 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.
Oct.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.
Dec.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.
Dec.18, 2018 Funding was announced by the Government of Alberta with the City of Calgary on December 18, 2018.
Jan. 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
Jan. 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.
Dec. 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.
Jan. 13, 2020 Major agreements to which The City of Calgary is party to are released, along with a citizen summary of the terms, principles and benefits of these agreements. Learn more about the agreements.
June 24, 2020 CMLC announced the Primary Design Consultants, (PDC), Construction Management (CM) and speciality firms for the Event Centre.

Public submissions received

​​

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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