Calgary at a Crossroads

Should Calgary's new arena and stadium project go to a plebiscite? That's the question posed by the CBC's Rob Brown over the weekend.  

As part of the Calgary at a Crossroads series, we asked what you thought of the idea of putting the nearly billion-dollar deal to a public vote.

Should the CalgaryNext project to be put to a plebiscite?

  • Yes. Let the public decide: 1,583
  • No. That's why we elect city council: 984
  • Maybe. It depends if there's a clear question: 815
CalgaryNext vote

This is how Calgarians weighed in on our question as of Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. (

As Brown put it, "decisions need to be made here — a path chosen — one that could define our city for decades to come." 

So do we build a massive new home for the Flames and Stamps? If so, who pays for it?

Mayor Naheed Nenshi recently questioned the viability of the idea of building a new arena in the city's West Village area — refusing to even refer to it as a "proposal."

"We have to be very, very clear that we're spending public money on public benefit," he said.

So we asked you what role you thought the public should have in the public benefit debate, and boy did we hear back from our readers.

Absolutely yes to a plebiscite and absolutely NO to the arena. — MW Smith

Best location. Great benefit to the city to upgrade our sports facilities. Funding strategy needs to be better defined and Flames need to eat a bigger piece. All for it though! Get it done. — Luke Ohlhauser

It will never pass if it goes to a plebiscite! Mind you with this new generation of voters who puts everything they buy on a credit card with no idea of how to pay for it, maybe it would pass! — Likarok

CalgaryNEXT arena and stadium development

This rendering of the new Flames sporting complex was posted to social media on August 17. (Calgary Flames)

The first tough decision for many years by this council, and you think the public should ignore their power and tell them how to proceed? Why pay them if they can't make decisions? Or, is this a way for them to step away from the debate? — MyView

​Very complex decision, we can't very well have the "facts" become known to the public, because they won't understand it, won't understand the politics, won't understand why the city already bought the land knowing it was contaminated, knowing it would have to be cleaned up before any sort of development could be done. And we certainly can't have the taxpayers decide what happens with a billion dollars of their money. — WorldCitizen39

CBC Calgary's special focus on life in our city during the downturn. A look at Calgary's culture, identity and what it means to be Calgarian. Read more stories from the series at Calgary at a Crossroads.