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Councillors gather input from Calgarians on public funding for new arena
Published Thursday, May 11, 2017 11:49AM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 11, 2017 6:49PM MDT
A group of city councillors have commissioned a survey to see how Calgarians feel about using public funding for a new arena and event centre and the results were released on Thursday.
Ward 12 councillor, Shane Keating, is leading the group of eight council members who are taking a closer look at investment in a new facility for the city.
They say they needed to hear from residents before any big decisions were made in council.
The idea of a new arena was floated in 2015 by Calgary Flames' brass who announced plans for a CalgaryNEXT facility in the West Village.
A city report that outlined the feasibility of the CalgaryNEXT proposal put a $1.8 billion price tag on the project and it was grounded.
Another plan was put forward recently that would see a new arena built in Victoria Park on the south side of 12 Avenue, between Olympic Way and 5 Street S.E.
‘Plan B’ would also include a new field house but that would be constructed near the University of Calgary.
The survey was conducted by Mainstreet Research from April 24 – 26 from a sample of just over 5000 Calgarians.
Respondents were asked about their opinion of the Saddledome and only about 19 percent said that the Saddledome meets the current needs of the city.
The polling firm found that about half of Calgarians surveyed said a new arena is needed but 32 percent felt it was not required.
A loan for construction that would be paid back with interest was supported by about 50 percent and 53 percent said they would support a grant with a revenue sharing component.
About 60 percent of residents polled said they would support the city if it decided to provide land or use savings to construct a new arena as long as it does not impact taxes. The remaining 40 percent were divided on the idea.
When asked if it was a good idea for the City of Edmonton to offer the Oilers financial assistance, 38 percent of those surveyed said they were uncertain, 32 percent said it was a good idea and 30 percent said it was not.
A cost for the Victoria Park option has not been presented yet.
To see the full results of the Mainstreet survey, click HERE.
(The margin of error for survey results is ± 1.38 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 for the entire sample.)