Councillor Sonya Sharp, chair of a committee exploring a new event centre in the Canadian city of Calgary, has revealed that “all possible options” will be considered for the arena, which would serve as the home of the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
In October last year, the City of Calgary agreed to begin formal discussions with Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, the Flames’ parent company, over a new events centre. It came almost a year after the Flames pulled the plug on plans to develop a new arena.
The discussions marked a fresh start for a potential new arena that could serve as the home of the Flames and also host arts and entertainment events. The CAA Icon agency, which has helped structure deals for major sports and entertainment venues across North America and Europe, is representing the City of Calgary in the talks.
CSEC exited a project to develop a new 19,000-seat arena (pictured) for the Flames in December 2021. The project was first unveiled in 2019 but faced a number of contentious moments, with CSEC and the City of Calgary unable to resolve issues relating to escalating costs.
The arena would have been located in the Victoria Park area of Calgary. Discussing the latest plans to explore a new events centre, Sharp said that no specific location has been agreed on.
“When you go back to the conversation we had in the fall, we talked about this being a fresh start, so this is a fresh start,” Sharp said, according to the Calgary Herald newspaper.
“We’re looking at building an event centre within the city, within downtown, and all possible options will be presented.”
Sharp was speaking yesterday (Monday) following a meeting of the event centre committee. She added: “We do know that because time is of the essence, we’re also working with cost escalations. We know with projects, the sooner they happen the better when it comes to time and money.”
The Flames have played at the Scotiabank Saddledome since it opened in 1983, but have long been seeking a new arena. The Saddledome is the second-oldest arena in the NHL, after New York’s Madison Square Garden.