It Is Official - No New Stadium For Calgary

Calgary NEXT has been NIXED

Just got home and turned on Global Calgary News.

The lead story was that the project will cost DOUBLE the original projected cost.
2/3 rds of the cost will be on the Calgary tax payer.

Other than updated costs the first block is the land.
It was contaminated over 80 years ago from a lumber yard that was on the sight.

A car dealership is on the current spot.

Anyway, plan B is to build a new arena on the Stampede Grounds next to the SaddleDome.

As for the McMahon Stadium , major upgrades will be planned.

IMO, the only thing wrong with the stadium is the seating.

The middle reds are ok, but the blues are hard and do not have arm rests . The outer metal seats are cooking hot in the summer and freezing cold in the fall.

If they upgrade with new comfort seats all will be good.

I like McMahon's location and sightlines, but the concourses are horribly cramped and the corner seats are just benches with no backs. I think the concourses are are what will ultimately lead them to building new on the same site. The cost to upgrade an existing stadium, which will have severe limitations, will be enough that it won't make sense. If it costs 150 million to do major renovations, may as well just build new and make it something everyone can be proud of for 250-300.

Headline is missleading. The city just isn't interested in a complex the price of the Big O.

It's the lack of money. One of my sons lives in Calgary the Province has been laying off the oil workers, The downtown business district has tons of vacant office towers. The price of a barrel of oil is down to the late thirties. I have been to that football park and, found it to my liking. I really question the need for a new stadium. The team draws well and, the stadium could hold a decent Grey Cup crowd. There has been lots of high living in Calgary in the last decade. Now there are fewer fans and, lots of 4 sale signs everywhere.
I believe Edmonton has/will have a new hockey stadium. The owner, I believe threatened to take the club out of Edmonton or he would transfer the team away from the city. He pointed his gun at the Edmonton fans saying "build it or we are gone". This owner, of course wants Edmonton and the taxpayers to pay for his palace, typical wealthy owner who wants someone else to pay for such. The NDP is now in control of the Province's finances , much to the dismay of the wealthy, and a new stadium for the Calgary owner will not happen. Lots of crying the blues in Cow Town.

I have been to a couple of games at IGF in the Peg to see the Stamps.
That new stadium has a concourse more cramped than McMahon. I once missed 10 minutes of QTR 2 waiting in line for a bottle of water. At least they had a mounted tv on a pillar to view but still.

As you state, their is a limit to what can be upgraded. 150 m sounds way to much for what they might want to do.
Yet that is not my area of expertise.

The other aspect is how much are they willing to upgrade a complex they do not own ?

McMahon is owned by the Calgary University.
It is the same as if you rent a house.
How much would you want to pay for reno upgrades to a house that belongs to the landlord?

Myself, I still say the big area is the seating. If Edmonton and Ottawa can do it, we should also.

For the Stamps, they built their own office complex on the same site. South of the main gate.
This is for the staff, coaches and player film and work out room.

The lockers are still in the stadium. Point is they needed new space so a new stadium was not urgent.
When you watch a Stamps game on tv and notice the South score board , you will note a building above it.
That is the Stamps owned building complex.

Yes , major job cuts in the oil industry. Thousands out of work.
Hard times for many and now the NDP has just added a huge property tax hike to the one the city was inputting.
Add to that the new Alberta NDP Carbon Tax.

I am lucky my job is safe and secure. I hope the same is for your son.

Job losses and tax increases. No way are we tax payers going to allow taxes from our pocket to pay for the NEXT.
2/3 rds of 1.8 billion. City Council knows it.

If they added large seats in place of bench seating, thus reducing capacity to 30K or so, wouldn't that help ease the congestion of the concourses? Then, renovate the concourses /concessions/washrooms.

Could be a solution. Obviously, the first choice is a new stadium that is not Calgary Next.

Very good idea. That has been looked at. Some old seating ripped out for more comfort space. The capacity would be reduced.
It would not hurt attendance. The avg is 27-29,000.

For the Esks at Labor Day it goes close to or over 32, 000 and often sold out.
It is also over 30,000 when Sask is in town. Almost 1/3 is in green . Oh THOSE PEOPLE.

The better seating would bring in more happier customers.

Myself I buy the Safeway section tickets that is on the metals I mentioned.
My solution is I went to Canadian Tire and got a stadium fold seat with arms.

Now , I think Calgary has some stadium envy. With most teams with new stadiums.
What ever will take place, I think the plans will be in place soon.

Good call bud

From what I understand, plan B is to build a new football stadium at the McMahon site and to build a new hockey arena at Stampede Park. Not the misleading forum subject, saying there will be no football stadium. Sounds like an awful lot of the cost for original plan, was for land purchases and clean-up of creosote at the site.

That stadium/fieldhouse thing looked lame. My advice, do exactly what Saskatchewan is doing.

X2 on both statements :thup:

Fieldhouse idea was lame

CalgaryNext proposal torpedoed by city report that pegs total cost at $1.8B
Actual price tag would be twice what Calgary Flames owners claimed last summer, city staff say
Robson Fletcher, CBC News Apr 20, 2016

The actual cost of the CalgaryNext arena-and-stadium project would likely reach $1.8 billion, with Calgary taxpayers on the hook for at least $1.2 billion, according to a new city report that effectively scuttles the proposal as it stands.

That's double the $890-million total price tag put forward last August, when the Calgary Flames and Calgary Stampeders ownership group first revealed their proposal to build a new professional sports complex on the west end of downtown.

Given those costs, the report recommends looking at alternatives for replacing the aging Saddledome and McMahon Stadium, in conjunction with the Calgary Flames, Calgary Stampeders and the city-owned Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.

"Administration has come to the conclusion that CalgaryNext is not feasible in its present form or location," the report reads.

The best alternative, according to the report, is to build a new arena at Stampede Park and a new football stadium and field house at the existing McMahon Stadium/Foothills Stadium site at the University of Calgary.

Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation — which owns the Flames and Stampeders in addition to the Calgary Hitmen junior hockey team and Calgary Roughnecks lacrosse team — said last summer it was willing to put up $200 million of its own money for the $890-million project.

The company proposed finding the other $690 million through a $250-million ticket tax, a $240-million community revitalization levy (CRL), and $200 million direct from city taxpayers, in exchange for public use of a field house that would be included as part of the stadium component of the facility.

But the city report concludes the actual cost — including financing, related infrastructure and creosote clean-up of the contaminated land on the identified site — would be much higher.

Of the $1.8-billion total, the report estimates the total city contribution would be between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion.

The estimate of the city's share includes direct contributions, the cost of the creosote cleanup, and the CRL, which is a sort of loan to be paid back by anticipated growth in property-tax revenues resulting from the project and related development.

The report cost the city $375,000 to do, not including the price of an environmental study the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation carried out to examine the creosote contamination, specifically.

City council is set to discuss the report at its meeting on Monday.

Time for an 'Option B'

Coun. Andre Chabot said the city needs to start looking for an "option B" because he sees no way the current CalgaryNext proposal can work.

"We might want to consider looking at a second option, which might be something of a scaled-back version of what was envisioned," he said.

"I don't think taxpayers are prepared to foot the bill on for-profit organizations," Chabot added.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, highlighting the "significant challenges" identified in the report.

"I know many Calgarians are looking for a better arena space, but this is just one option," the mayor said of the CalgaryNext proposal.

"I've always said: public money must be used for public benefit and council will have a robust discussion about this on Monday," Nenshi added.

"City administration has also identified a potential alternative for council's consideration that may accomplish the same objectives, but at a lower cost."

Start of a conversation

Coun. Druh Farrell said the report validates the concerns she has had all along.

"The vast majority of it would be covered by Calgarians and we've got other priorities," Farrell said.

"I think it's just the start of a conversation."

She said in the current economic environment, public funding would be a tough sell to taxpayers.

"The principle of public dollars going to public benefit of course is a fundamental one so they will have to look at sharpening their pencil," Farrell said.

"I can't imagine, especially during this economy, that Calgarians would welcome paying for an arena for a private organization, a for-profit organization, so there are other mechanisms to pay for this, I hope they explore them."

Executive Summary of City of Calgary's report on CalgaryNext

I don't think the idea was lame, the execution might not have been too good.

Looks like they will be in McMahon for many more years. Is there a real need for a new stadium? Why not just a bit of a makeover like new seats etc, new seats would replace the benches and attendance would be reduced but seems the way to go.

Never been to McMahon, have driven past it and it's in a good location it seems and looks good on TV. Agree spruce it up with new seating and what not.

Flames Organization putting in $200M. :roll:
That is 3 seasons payroll for the Flames, they spend $200M on tape,
They better be upping the ante on that bid, they need a new arena more than they need a new Stadium to play in.

"Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation — which owns the Flames and Stampeders in addition to the Calgary Hitmen junior hockey team and Calgary Roughnecks lacrosse team — said last summer it was willing to put up $200 million of its own money for the $890-million project."

Well Wrigley and Fenway are over 100 years old. Tradition!

I wonder if there's a little bait and switch going on here? You know, council heroically rejecting the 1.8 billion dollar proposal and then "saving" tax dollars by building elsewhere for 7 or 800 million? The CalgaryNext proposal always seemed very light on details.

This is political gamesmanship at it's best being played by both sides.

The cleanup cost of the site alone makes this a non starter compared to what the Flames are putting into it. They'll come back with a new offer and up the ante and we'll see where they go from here.

I wonder is any plan B will be tied to a bid for the 2026 Winter Games. They're more likely to get provincial and federal support and hopefully the oil industry will bounce back a bit by then.