Council unveils committee to push for new Calgary event centre deal
Unnamed 3rd party to see if the Flames are still interested in being a partner
Calgary city council appointed a new committee Tuesday to push for a modern arena complex to replace the aging Scotiabank Saddledome, after a deal with the Calgary Flames fell apart last year.
There was no word, however, on the selection of a third party, which will be tasked with seeing if the Flames ownership group is still interested in partnering with the city, and to look for possible other funding partners.
"It will be public at some point, just not today," Mayor Jyoti Gondek told reporters Tuesday after closed door meetings with council.
A $600-million deal reached in 2019 between the city and the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) collapsed late last year after CSEC walked away citing rising costs — but not before each side had spent up to $25 million each.
In January, the new city council voted to start again.
The new committee will include councillors Sonya Sharp, Dan McLean and Courtney Walcott. They'll be joined by Brad Parry, president of Calgary Economic Development, and Deborah Yedlin, president of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
"It will be very similar to the event centre committee of the past," Gondek said.
"They receive and review information submitted by administration as well as the third party, and then they make recommendations up to council."
Coun. Sharp said speed is a priority.
"I think it is not if the event centre gets built, it is when the event centre gets built," she said.
"It is a great project. It is the heart of the Rivers District [Master Plan] and it's a catalyst for our city. I think everyone is in anticipation of when are we going to see some action on this file?"
That unnamed third party may look for other funding sources to lessen the cost to Calgary taxpayers.
Council had committed more than $300 million in arena-related costs in the deal that fell apart.
With files from Scott Dippel