Published on August 18, 2015 10:48 PM by dbo.
Today’s announcement of CalgaryNEXT provided a glimpse into the vision the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) has for the next generation of facility for Calgary. As the owner of all tenants of these facilities — Calgary Stampeders, Flames, Hitmen and Roughnecks — CSEC is in a unique position to deliver a multi-sport facility and have come up with a distinct plan to provide a facility that will likely be used for the widest range of sports and people from professionals to amateurs and ordinary citizens.
Notes, Commentary and Speculation
- Source for a lot of the tidbits here is Herald tweet reporting aggregated to one article and the CalgaryNEXT FAQ.
- Project is not a springboard for another Calgary Winter Olympic bid.
- CSEC has no Plan B in the wings.
- 5-7 years in the making until now, expect 2 years to finalize funding, 3 years to complete. If project was completed in 5 years, CSEC CEO Ken King would be very happy. Contamination cleanup is the greatest risk to impact this schedule.
- McMahon expected to be demolished and land redeveloped by University, Saddledome expected to be repurposed, but decisions not needed until after new facility started.
- City will own land and building, CSEC expected to manage.
- Field house is publicly accessible, for the community.
- Retractable seats will cover the track during CFL games.
- Stadium seating can expand to 50,000 for special events.
- Arena and stadium roofs may be translucent.
Surrounding area will see commercial and residential development.
The idea for the combined stadium/field house is very unique and provides an efficiency in facilities most communities don’t have (they support two or more facilities) and allows CSEC to tap into the field house project the city has on its docket.
- It certainly seems like Regina’s and Winnipeg’s new stadiums are driving a little of the complex design, especially it being covered (though serving dual purpose as field house requires that). Calgary can’t be left behind and deserves something better. Facility envy drives the corporate leader more than the public one.
- Whether the city will see a separate arena, stadium and field house, even if build over 10-15 years will cost much more than this facility and eventually they will need to replace Saddledome and McMahon with the field house on the wish list.
- The stadium will see a reduction in seats from the current McMahon Stadium, but will put them on par with Western Division counterparts in Regina and Winnipeg.
- There was no details on amenities of stadium, from suites and concessions, etc. I would expect there to be more premium seats available and at a premium cost.
- Only initial artist sketches and rough costs. I expect a lot of the frills to come off once designs and money get finalized. The translucent roof, special event expansion to 50,000 seem like the easiest targets.
- No mention whether field house is air conditioned, but I expect so, which would make translucent roof inefficient in summer.
- Calgary joins the club of soft fans that says rain, sun, cold, outdoors is not for me.
- CSEC upping their stake in the Stampeders in 2012 makes more sense now with this in the works for past 5-7 years. Gaining control of Stampeders allowed stadium/field house to replace aging McMahon Stadium while acquiring additional funds.
- In exchange for the world class facility located downtown, Calgarians will be expected to give up the drive and park mentality to go to sporting events. Public transport will be required for the vast majority of fans. This will be an adjustment for many.
The next two years will be interesting to follow as the funding and details of the project are hammered out. What ultimately could be decided on once it goes through the political process could be much different than what was shown today. While I ultimately expect a project of some kind to go ahead, there is the possibility the people of Calgary say no.