Field house plan pitched by former Calgary mayoral candidate

Bill Smith, who finished second in the race for mayor in 2017, is advocating for the project on behalf of a group called Calgary Rising.

Bill Smith advocating for project on behalf of a group called Calgary Rising

An artist rendering of a proposed fieldhouse project next to Foothills Athletic Park. (Calgary Rising)

A new plan to replace McMahon Stadium with a field house is being pitched to city council and a former mayoral candidate is behind it.

The proposal would see a stadium/field house combo built right next to where McMahon Stadium is now, adjacent to Foothills Athletic Park.

It would also come with a couple of hockey rinks, a pool, and some indoor sports facilities.

The land is currently owned by the city and the University of Calgary.

Bill Smith, who finished second in the race for Mayor in 2017, is advocating for the project on behalf of a group called Calgary Rising.

There's no budget yet, but Smith says they do have a ballpark for funding.

An artist rendering of the proposed fieldhouse project. City council has struck a committee to consider what should be done with the area. (Calgary Rising)

"We think it's going to be around $500 million," he said. "But that's very fluid. It depends on what goes in there and how we want to build it."

Smith says remaining land could be developed, which would help pay for the project.

This isn't the first field house pitch to council as the Calgary Multisport field house Society has been working on one for years.

Society chair Jason Zaran says doesn't want the field house to be tied to other projects.

"I think for us to take our eye off the ball at this point would not be a great idea," he said.

"Because we've got the facility that needs to be built. It's been planned since 2010."

City council voted Monday night to form a committee to explore what to do with the field house idea and Foothills Athletic Park site.

With files from Andrew Brown


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