Report outlines potential plans for Saddledome should the Flames move to new rink
A new report commissioned by the Saddledome Foundation lists possible options for the building that currently houses the Calgary Flames if a new arena is built in Calgary or the NHL squad elects to relocate to a different city.
“The reason we’re doing that report, the reason we asked the Saddledome Foundation to do that, is so that we don’t run into the problem they’ve got in Edmonton which is ‘What do we do now?’,” said Mayor Nenshi. “We want to make sure that all plans are in place in advance should we end up building a new arena.”
According to the report, the arena could be repurposed, decommissioned, torn down or operated without a major tenant should the Flames leave.
Potential options listed in the report include:
- Renovating the Saddledome into a recreation centre complete with soccer fields, ice surfaces and a workout facility at an estimated cost of $165M
- Repurposing the building into a convention centre at an estimated cost of $156M
- Transforming the stadium into a 6,000 seat facility
- Utilizing the existing building for the 2026 Winter Olympics should Calgary elect to submit a bid and is awarded the games.
- Continuing the current operations at an estimated cost of $1M per year
- Demolishing the building at a cost of roughly $13M
Conversations between the Flames and the City of Calgary regarding an agreement to build a new rink have gone quiet of late following a highly publicized stalemate in negotiations.
Colin Craig, interim Alberta director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the report overlooks the option of the Flames playing in a renovated Saddledome.
“I think that the report certainly has some interesting pie-in-the-sky sort of ideas about what could be done with the arena,” said Craig.“What we’re surprised by is that no one can stand up and say here’s what it would cost to fix or modify the existing arena. I think that’s really a due diligence question that should have been answered a long time ago before we got to this stage.”
With files from CTV's Jordan Kanygin
The Calgary Saddledome Potential Future Uses Study is available in its entirety below: