Ken King says CalgaryNEXT could cost more than $890M to build
Calgary Flames CEO says 'more funds needed' from community levy to make West Village a reality
The CEO of the Calgary Flames says it's likely more money from a Community Revitalization Levy will be needed to develop the West Village, the proposed future home of the CalgaryNEXT project.
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Ken King says the multi sport facility will cost $890 million, with $240 million of that to come from a CRL, a loan that is repaid through property taxes in the area.
But he says more money from that levy will be needed to prepare the neighbourhood before building the proposed sportsplex.
"I expect there will be more funds needed," King said.
The plan calls for a 20,000-seat arena to replace the Scotiabank Saddledome, where the Flames play, as well as a 30,000-seat indoor football stadium for the CFL Stampeders that would also serve as a field house.
The money for the sportsplex would come from a $250-million ticket tax, a $240-million community levy, $200 million from team ownership and $200 million from city taxpayers for the field house.
But the vision for CalgaryNEXT involves redeveloping an area west of Calgary's downtown along the Bow River where the city's Greyhound bus depot and two car dealerships now sit.
The land will need to be decontaminated as it was the site of a creosote wood-treatment plant until the 1960s.
Far More Difficult Site
The $890 million price tag wouldn't cover that, but King suggests the CRL would help.
The City of Calgary has used the levy for the East Village, with $350 million going to flood proofing, roads and infrastructure as well as the River Walk, pedestrian bridges and St. Patrick's Island.
Using the levy for CalgaryNEXT would be very different, according to Druh Farrell, councillor for Ward 7
"The CRL normally would go to preparing the site for development. The site needs huge preparation. It's a far more difficult site than East Village and that was a difficult site.," she said.
"$240-million dollars won't cover (it). That's covering the arena."
But King argues it will cost more money in order to build CalgaryNEXT.
"The efficacy of the CRL needs to be proven. We can't just promise that somebody's going to come there and build something," King says.
"What we have to do is — heck I might even be going to places to get people to build things there."