Concept drawings reveal new idea for Calgary arena
A set of new concept drawings, released by a city committee on Friday, are giving a glimpse into the future of Calgary’s events and culture district and a glimmer of hope of renewed talks with the Flames about a new arena.
The plans are for a new entertainment district in Victoria Park that was built from public engagement with the citizens of Calgary about what they want to see.
Ward 6 councillor Jeff Davison, a member of the event centre assessment committee, says they will now forward the visual on to council for their take on the idea.
“Is this the parameters that we want to look at and is council happy with this and if so, council will then direct a committee and start working with a partner in terms of where we go from here.”
The concept, produced by Detroit-based architectural firm Rosetti, isn’t much more than a drawing right now, but the hope is that this development could spur talks forward with the Calgary Flames.
“The big thing is they were always looking for was, show us the vision, what do we need to get on board with here? What does the city need from their perspective to make this work?” Davison says.
The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation says that it has been engaging with the public about what they’d like to see in a new events district in Victoria Park.
The current vision is an entertainment district with a new NHL arena at the heart of it all.
“We need to do something that’s going to attract development and interest in the area,” said Michael Brown, president of the CMLC. “We’ve identified a number of projects that do that and one of the projects is an event centre.”
He says that with that centre, it will do more than just bring people out to games or concerts, it will make the area come alive.
Davison says that there is more for Calgarians to realize with this new development than just a new arena.
“It’s important for Calgarians to understand that we’re already going to place about $150M worth of value into the community anyway. That’s roads, that’s parks, that’s community spaces and all of those things. We’re now looking at truly fulfilling the idea of what Calgary’s arts and culture district looks like.”
The cost of the arena is estimated at around $150M, but the whole concept could cost over $500M.
When the Calgary Flames were told about the idea, they say they are looking forward to what’s coming next.
(With files from Jaclyn Brown)