New arena to light up West Village?

The Calgary Herald reported this morning the Calgary Flames have plans of a new arena project, which would not only house the Calgary Flames hockey team but include a football stadium and amateur sports fieldhouse as well.

On March 13, the CREBNow print edition reported some of the particulars that would be involved in the construction of a new arena in Calgary.

5 Things about Calgary’s new arena:

Where will the Calgary Flames play?

While those in the know are still very hush-hush about the plans for Calgary’s new hockey arena, including where it will be located, there are a few things we can say with some certainty about a potential new home for the Calgary Flames.

1. It could cost in excess of $400 million. With the estimated cost of Edmonton’s new downtown arena coming in at $480 million, it’s a good bet any Calgary arena will boast a similar price tag. Detroit’s new downtown arena, which broke ground last summer, boasts a nearly identical price tag of $450 million.

2. It likely won’t receive any funding from the City. With Mayor Naheed Nenshi on record saying he doesn’t believe in believe in public funds going after private money, it’s a good bet any new arena won’t receive the same boost from taxpayers seen in Edmonton, where roughly two-thirds of the funding is coming from either the municipal or provincial government.

3. It could be in the West Village. While speculation abounds about a possible location for a new arena, rumours have circulated that Flames ownership has pegged the area around the Greyhound bus station on the downtown west side as suitable spot. Located near the substantial Sunalta stop on the West LRT line, the area would seem to be a good fit.

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4. It likely won’t simply be a renovated Saddledome. With Flames’ owner Ken King having called the Flames current building “embarassing” and stating “There’s absolutely no reason we should watch a new building go up in Edmonton and we’ve got to play in a 1980s building here,” in a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, it’s unlikely that a renovation of the 1983-built Saddledome will suffice.

5. It will be home to more concerts. A long running criticism of the existing Saddledome and its once revolutionary design has been its inability to host many major musical acts. Due to the low sloping ceiling, the building is unable to accommodate many larger stage shows. Recent Saddledome snubs have included Madonna, Shania Twain, Metallica and Paul McCartney.

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