Calgary council voted in favor of changes to its arena deal with Flames ownership, after being asked to approve spending of up to $ 10 million for flood mitigation measures and a transportation plan In the region.
On Monday, the city and the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) each agreed to pay an additional $ 12.5 million for the arena, with the CSEC covering any additional cost overruns.
It was also announced that the city-owned developer behind Rivers District will no longer oversee the project and that this obligation will now fall under BBRI.
On Tuesday, the board voted in favor of seven recommendations relating to the updated deal.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi said to his surprise that changing the deal helps reduce risk for Calgarians.
“Calgary Sports and Entertainment, the Calgary Flames actually went to great lengths to make sure that we are going to build a good building and that they will be responsible for all the cost overruns… that’s a really big deal,” he said. he told reporters on Wednesday. “We still have the ability to make sure that this building is beautiful, that this building will meet the needs of Calgarians.
The arena is expected to cost $ 608.5 million, which is up from the previous $ 550 million deal reached in 2019. The city will pay about half of that amount.
The design has also changed since then and according to an update filed by City Manager David Duckworth, improvements have been made to the public realm, architecture and visual design of the project.
There has also been an increase in street-level retail, customer-to-bathroom ratio, improved accessibility, and improved performance spaces.
A new render of the center of the event was released on Wednesday. The design of the building is expected to be finalized this week.
The building is expected to have 18,300 seats, about 1,000 less than the Saddledome.
The arena will also be smaller than Rogers Place in Edmonton, which is over 1.1. million square feet with 18,500 seats.
The council will also split a $ 10 million transportation and event management plan that includes signage, automated lane reversals and ride-sharing infrastructure.
“During this conversation, we also said it was a good time for us to look at the overall management of traffic, cars, bikes, pedestrians, before and after the events,” said Nenshi.
This cost will include flood mitigation measures, estimated at $ 5.4 million.
According to Duckworth, due to the larger capacity of the Glenmore Reservoir and the Springbank off-stream reservoir upstream on the bend, there will be better flood protection than in 2013.
Although the CBSC has become responsible for the development of the project, the board will still have a level of oversight to ensure that the public interest is maintained, Nenshi said.
“We have to approve the permits and so on, so we still have the ability to make sure that this building is beautiful, that this building will meet the needs of Calgarians and that we will build the neighborhood in the neighborhoods in the future,” he said. Nenshi said.
CSEC President and CEO John Bean said in a statement the company is happy with the board’s approval of the changes to the project.
“After careful consideration, this collaborative effort of partners has resulted in a revised agreement that will provide a vital community resource for decades to come,” said Bean.
Construction of the arena is expected to begin in December of this year and is expected to be completed by August 2024. Updated deal details have been posted on the site city website.