CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — The Calgary Flames will get a new arena to replace the aging Saddledome under a deal between the team’s ownership and city and provincial governments.
Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. — which owns the Saddledome and the Flames — announced the deal on Tuesday, as did the city of Calgary and the Alberta government.
The price tag for the arena was estimated at $800 million Canadian ($587 million U.S.), with the entire project estimated to cost $1.2 billion ($880 million U.S.). Among the projects that will be completed alongside the arena are parking, transit improvements, a new community rink and an enclosed plaza.
The 40-year-old Saddledome seats more than 19,000 for hockey games and hosted hockey and figure skating during the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Mayor Jyoti Gondek said the city council voted unanimously in favor of the deal on Tuesday.
“This is a generational investment in place-making, creating space for community to gather,” Gondek said at a news conference on the proposed site for the new arena, close to the Saddledome.
The Alberta government is not contributing directly to the arena but said it plans to spend up to $300 million on public transit and road improvements, site utilities, reclamation and other infrastructure. The province is also contributing $30 million to cover half the cost of the 1,000-seat community rink.
“Calgary isn’t Calgary without the Flames, and Alberta isn’t Alberta without the Battle of Alberta,” Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said.
Smith said last October that the Saddledome has served the community well but can no longer compete with new buildings across North America for events, concerts and sports.
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