A public consultation process has begun for a new arena in Calgary that will serve as the home of the Flames, the Canadian city’s NHL ice hockey team.

Last month, plans for a new arena in Calgary were formalised through an agreement with the Flames’ owners and city authorities.

A 35-year agreement between Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC), City of Calgary and Calgary Stampede will keep the NHL team in the city for that time at a new C$550m (£318m/€377m/$416m), 19,000-seat arena.

Work on the venue, which will also host the Calgary Stampede rodeo and other local hockey and lacrosse teams, is expected to begin in 2021, with the existing Scotiabank Saddledome to be demolished between 2024 and 2025.

Development manager Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) has now begun the public feedback process for the arena, with an online survey having launched yesterday (Wednesday). Locals will also be able to give their thoughts on the arena at 24 in-person sessions at the Saddledome over the coming months.

CMLC is seeking input on the user experience at the arena, as well as programming and other amenities. Food and beverage preferences will also be sought, with findings to be collected and provided to the arena design team.

CMLC president Kate Thompson said, according to the Calgary Herald newspaper: “I’m less (looking) for something that looks like a saddle or something else. We’re really looking for architecture that fits the neighbourhood and amplifies the district.

“When we have a building as iconic as the Saddledome, you’ve really got to be able, in the new facility, to create something just as special for Calgarians.”

The Flames have played at the 19,000-capacity Scotiabank Saddledome since it opened in 1983.

Image: Calgary Flames/Rosetti