The Calgary Event Centre Agreement: What You Need to Know
The Calgary Event Centre project has been a hot topic in the city for years, and for good reason. After much debate, the city council and the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) signed an agreement in July 2019 to build a new arena and events center in the Rivers District. This agreement is a major development for Calgary, but what are the details, and what does it mean for the city?
Firstly, the agreement outlines the construction and financing of the new facility, which is projected to cost $550 million dollars. The CSEC will pay $275 million, with the remaining $275 million coming from the City of Calgary, which will be funded through a community revitalization levy. The CSEC will also operate the facility and receive all revenue from events held there, but will pay property taxes on it.
The agreement also includes certain stipulations regarding the use of the facility. The CSEC must host a minimum number of events per year, including a minimum number of concerts, sporting events, and community events. Additionally, at least 50% of events held at the facility must be open to the public, and the CSEC must provide a certain amount of affordable rental space for non-profit organizations.
There are also some concerns surrounding the agreement, particularly with regards to the public funding of the project. Some critics argue that the CSEC, which includes billionaire owners of the Calgary Flames, should be paying for more of the project, rather than relying on public funds. Others have raised concerns about the process by which the agreement was reached, and whether there was enough public consultation before the decision was made.
However, supporters of the agreement argue that the new facility will bring significant economic benefits to the city, including job creation and increased tourism. It will also provide a much-needed upgrade to the aging Scotiabank Saddledome, which has been home to the Flames since 1983.
Overall, the Calgary Event Centre Agreement is a significant development for the city, and one that will have long-lasting effects. While there are valid concerns about the financing of the project, it`s clear that it has strong support from many in the city, and has the potential to be a major driver of economic growth and community development. As the project moves forward, it will be important to continue to monitor its progress and ensure that it is benefiting all Calgarians, not just a select few.