Calgary is growing and its economy has momentum, and the Government of Alberta is committed to investing in the infrastructure necessary to create jobs and improve Calgarians’ quality of life. Alberta’s government is answering the call with this agreement for a new arena and event centre by investing in critical infrastructure to support the new event centre and BMO Convention Centre expansion while revitalizing Calgary’s Rivers District, the Stampede grounds and downtown.
"This new arena and event centre will be at the heart of Calgary's sports, entertainment and cultural scene for generations, and will result in billions of dollars of economic activity and a higher quality of life for millions of Albertans. The memories experienced here by families and friends will contribute invaluably to the fabric and spirit of this city for decades. Calgary is a vibrant world-class city deserving and in need of world-class facilities. Along with Edmonton's Rogers Place, Alberta will now have two of the best and most modern event centres in all the world."
Under the MOU entered into by the province, the provincial government will not be investing in the construction or operation of the arena itself. Those costs will be borne by the city and CSEC pursuant to a separate MOU between those parties. The province will instead contribute up to $300 million, the majority over the next three years, primarily committed to road and bridge construction, LRT connection, site utilities, site reclamation and other supportive infrastructure. These investments will be critical to the development of the entire area, will enhance access to the Stampede grounds and the expanded BMO Convention Centre, and ensure a vibrant downtown and Rivers District.
“One of my first actions as Premier was to publicly encourage all parties to return to the negotiating table and to appoint MLA Ric McIver along with my office's executive director to work with the city and CSEC to get this deal done in a manner that respected the expectations of provincial taxpayers. Six months later, we have results and I am grateful to the city, CSEC, the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, MLA McIver and everyone else involved who came together to get this job done. I can't wait to get the project started."
As part of the agreement, the province would also partner with the city to build a new 1,000-seat community arena neighbouring the main arena that will serve youth and amateur hockey. The province’s contribution would be up to $30 million.
The province’s commitments in this agreement are subject to cabinet and Treasury Board approval by August 2023.
“This project is another signal to the market that Calgary is making strong investments in its future. The partnership approach we have taken accomplishes two things: we are building an event centre, and we are also creating the public amenities needed within the Rivers District to enhance quality of life for all Calgarians.”
“The Calgary Stampede has enjoyed having the Calgary Flames as a neighbour since they arrived in 1980. We are honoured and excited to be a partner in this development that will contribute to a world-class landscape for our Calgary community. When combined with other developments, both existing and planned, an event centre complex of this magnitude will provide an anchor to attract and host the world in Calgary’s Culture + Entertainment District.”
“We are proud and excited to be part of the group to have established a clear path forward that provides a new home for Calgary’s sports teams; the venue to host A-class concerts and events; and a community gathering place, for many years to come. Thank you to the city, the province and the Stampede for your leadership and for coming together to create an environment of success.”
“Make no mistake, this project is about more than just a single building. It's fulfilling our vision of a home for culture, sports, and entertainment. It's a vital investment in our city's future prosperity, vibrancy and growth. A little over a hundred years and 1.3 million people later, we have a new Big Four – four partners committed to building a community hub that will serve us for generations to come."