Calgary, AB – The City of Calgary (the “City”), Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (“CSEC”) and the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited (“Stampede”) have each approved the fundamental terms and conditions for the development and construction of a new public sports and entertainment event centre.
The event centre will anchor a public festival street, attract world-leading performing artists and major events, and serve as a new home to the Calgary Flames, Hitmen and Roughnecks. The Boards of each of the Stampede and CSEC formally approved the agreements late last week and the final step in the approval process, an affirmative vote of Calgary City Council, occurred earlier today.
Located adjacent to the downtown core in east Victoria Park, the Event Centre will be a catalyst for redevelopment in the Rivers District and is critical to realizing the vision of east Victoria Park as a Culture and Entertainment Districtwhich includes the BMO Centre, Arts Commons, the Calgary Central Library, Studio Bell and the National Music Centre. It contributes to goals identified in the Downtown Strategy to advance Calgary’s economic recovery and resilience, and is a key component to Council’s update to the Economic Strategy for Calgary approved in June 2018 “Calgary in the New Economy”.
“For years, I’ve been saying any investment of public money must have public benefit. This deal does that. It’s a fair deal. I’m pleased that it will allow us to move forward on the important work of city building, especially in east Victoria Park,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Given their success in building and designing the East Village, I’m looking forward to the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation’s design, engagement and community integration on this project.”
“Thank you to the Events Centre Assessment Committee for their hard work along with the City, The Stampede, and CMLC in reaching this agreement” said Ken King, Vice Chairman of CSEC. “As an organization, and on behalf of our ownership group, we are proud to call this city home, and pleased to be investing in a district that will embody Calgary’s energy and sense of community. We would also like to add our thanks to City Manager Glenda Cole, CMLC’s Michael Brown, volunteer Barry Munro, the Mayor and City Council for their important role in the process.”
“As a key part of the community since 1912, the Stampede is thrilled to be part of a project that is focused on building the Rivers District for the future in a way that is as bold and innovative as the city itself,” said Warren Connell, CEO of the Calgary Stampede. “With our partners, we look forward to welcoming Calgarians and visitors to all of our events and facilities that support a world class year-round gathering place.”
“This vote was a key step in moving not just this project forward, but in re-establishing Calgary as a destination for people from around the world to visit, live, work and grow,” said Councillor Jeff Davison, who chaired The City’s Event Centre Assessment Committee. “This agreement is the result of public and private partners working together to find common ground, shared principles and a collective vision for a future that benefits all Calgarians.”
“While today’s vote is a significant milestone, it is really just the starting line for bringing this project to life, says Randy Magnussen, Chair of CMLC. “Coupled with CMLC’s role in leading the master plan vision and development of the BMO Centre, this is an opportunity that will enable the holistic plan to be realized. We look forward to engaging Calgarians in ongoing conversations about the new event centre and its integration into the district.”
The partners will now move forward to finalize definitive legal agreements and coordination of ongoing public engagement on key design components and surrounding public realm of the event centre and programming opportunities, to be overseen by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC). CMLC is The City-owned agency responsible for the revitalization of the adjacent East Village for the past 12 years and the broader Rivers District.