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‘Year-round hub’: Calgary releases details of final agreement for new event centre

The City of Calgary, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) and the province are all sharing the costs for a new multi-million dollar event centre at Stampede Park.

The city released details of the final agreement reached between the groups on Thursday, saying sharing of the information is part of the city’s commitment to “share as much information as possible on major projects.  

“Calgarians who review these agreements will see a lot of familiar information,” said Michael Thompson, general manager of infrastructure services.

“Much of the information contained in these agreements was released in October 2023 with the announcement of final agreements.”

There are redactions in the final agreements, something the city says is to protect sensitive and proprietary information about the project’s partners.

A downtown community rink, new public plazas and gathering places and improved transportation networks are part of the new infrastructure deal.

“It will provide a year-round hub for sports, art and entertainment for the enjoyment of all Calgarians and visitors,” reads a release from the city. 

City officials say the event centre block design phase is underway and they will share it this year, along with breaking ground. 

The agreements outline three streams of funding that the city will receive from CSEC over the 35 year term:

  • $748.3 million (a present value of $356 million) 

$40 million upfront 

$17 million annual lease payment, escalating 1% per year

  • Future land sales 

Four properties identified for redevelopment

Future sale of Victoria Park Bus Maintenance Facility 

  • $52.5 million 

$1.5 million annual payment to community sport funding

  • The Province is providing funding for infrastructure improvements in the Culture + Entertainment District, as well as half the cost of the community rink. These improvements include the 6 Street S.E. underpass, public gathering spaces, and upgrades to streets, sidewalks and accesses to the area.

The $1.22 billion project will include a new event centre, a community rink and transportation and utility work in the surrounding neighbourhood.

The City of Calgary will front most of the cash for the project — $537 million — while CSEC will put up $40 million initially and pay an estimated $316 million through yearly lease payments.

The province is pledging $330 million over five years, with most going towards the transportation and utility work surrounding the new rink. The Alberta government’s funding will also cover some of the costs for the community rink and the will pay for the demolition of the Saddledome.

This is a developing story and will be updated…

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