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New Arena Still On The Books For City Of Calgary Rivers District Sep 15 2017 37127 1
New arena still on the books for City of Calgary Rivers district
City partners still envisioning Calgary's future with a new arena
BRODIE THOMAS / METRO / CALGARY STAFF
The proposed arena in Victoria Park would be just one part of a larger master plan CMLC has for revitalization the Rivers District.
By:Helen PikeMetroPublished onThu Sep 14 2017
If a stadium isn't on the Flames' roster anymore, it hasn't vanished from city partner to-do lists.
This week, Ken King, President and CEO of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC), said the team's owners were no longer pursuing a new stadium project in the city, after nearly two years of back and forth debate with administration to get a deal inked and shovels in the ground.
"It doesn't look like we're going to get there and I think it's time that we stop pretending," King told reporters Tuesday.
CalgaryNEXT, which was originally pitched as a West Village vision by CSEC, took on a new sheen after problems with contaminated land, timelines and budgetary shifts were raised by the City of Calgary in March 2017.
Instead, the planned second stadium idea shifted to Victoria Park.
The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation pitched their initial vision of the River's District, complete with an arena. But as the talks between the City of Calgary and Flames crumble it's unclear how that vision will hold up.
But Susan Veres, with CMLC, tells Metro their vision still includes a stadium.
"Our master plan team is thinking through the urban design plans and guidelines now but...the master plan is an intense planning document that covers a range of items like: Development and density timelines; land servicing, connections (new roads, more), park spaces, amenities and streetscaping," she said.
"We will be talking about the urban vision in the new year as the plan is still being formed."
For Calgary Economic Development's president and chief executive officer, Mary Moran, hockey is a topic that often comes up in city-selling discussions. Her group appreciates the value of a hockey team.
"We know there's more opportunity with a bigger event centre, for sure, particularly from a tourism perspective," said Moran. "It has to be the right time, right place and the right people to get it done. I would just say, I hope we can get there"
Moran said this is following the same game plan as other cities go through. She said both the political and the organizational stakeholders in the discussion are big community builders.
"From the city's perspective, they're doing it in good faith," Moran said.
But what also worries her about the crumbling discussions between the City and the Flames aren't losing a team, but losing the expert builders who have come to Calgary to be a part of the growing city's centre.
Looking up, the cranes dotting the city's skyline won't be there forever.
"We don't want to lose those very sophisticated construction workers," Moran said. "It's not like building a warehouse, not necessarily like building a bridge."
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