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Wreckening

Saddledome Sadness

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Saw this article on The Score today.  Pretty scathing....but accurate take on Brian Burke's assesment of the Dome.

 

Not sure how long it will take to get a new building but I can't see the Dome being a viable option 10 years from now....not without sinking a whole bunch of cash that could be used to fund a new building.

 

So my question is what will it take to finally get a new building within 5-7 years?  And where should it be?

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Although the desire is for a new arena in the downtown core, I just don't see enough viable land available there.  Sure, there's fringe areas (Eau Claire Market, Mewata Armoury/old Science Centre, Pumphouse Theater, etc), but current traffic flow to those areas is significantly insufficient to handle any kind of event traffic, hockey/concert/etc).  I also seem to recall hearing somewhere that the Flames wanted out from under the Stampede's shadow (in terms of land space use).

 

To me, the only viable place that meets most of the criteria the Flames have said they're looking for is Fire Park (corner of Barlow Trail and Memorial Drive).  It definitely has the following things going for it:

  • access from major thoroughfares in both directions
  • lots of land space
  • incredibly accessible via transit (Barlow/Max Bell C-train stop is already built right there)
  • close enough to downtown without actually being downtown
  • Max Bell Arena is practically across the street (for close practice facility)
  • elevated, prominent skyline focal point

 

Fire Park has been a veritable parking lot for years, just begging for something to be developed there.

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I would love a downtown arena as I think they are the way to go but feasible it's tough. I don't see a big spot of land in the core that would work, you would be tearing down building which I giess is doable but should jumps the price up. An idea that's been kicked around is the land out by the old science center/greyhound station and it makes aloy of sense if they were able yk get support from the province on the roads the new c train is already right there and lots kf people could walk from DT so you reduce the amount of vehicle.

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Although the desire is for a new arena in the downtown core, I just don't see enough viable land available there.  Sure, there's fringe areas (Eau Claire Market, Mewata Armoury/old Science Centre, Pumphouse Theater, etc), but current traffic flow to those areas is significantly insufficient to handle any kind of event traffic, hockey/concert/etc).  I also seem to recall hearing somewhere that the Flames wanted out from under the Stampede's shadow (in terms of land space use).

 

To me, the only viable place that meets most of the criteria the Flames have said they're looking for is Fire Park (corner of Barlow Trail and Memorial Drive).  It definitely has the following things going for it:

  • access from major thoroughfares in both directions
  • lots of land space
  • incredibly accessible via transit (Barlow/Max Bell C-train stop is already built right there)
  • close enough to downtown without actually being downtown
  • Max Bell Arena is practically across the street (for close practice facility)
  • elevated, prominent skyline focal point

 

Fire Park has been a veritable parking lot for years, just begging for something to be developed there.

 

Keep in mind, Mcleod Tr/1st ST SE/and the Stampede area isn't exactly traffic friendly either but it still hosted the Flames for decades.  I think the Pumphouse/GSL GM City/Greyhound area is good enough if not better than their current location in Stampede Park.

  • Adjacent to Downtown Core/Centralized location to service all quadrants of Calgary
  • New C-Train Station already in place
  • Accessible via Crowchild/Bow Trail/Memorial Drive/14 ST
  • Greyhound convenience
  • Bow River/Riverside Skyline with Downtown back drop
  • Despite being along the river, that location is not in the flood zone

Fire Park has its advantages too and it's probably the best option outside of the downtown core.  Also, I've always thought the Spark Science Center would've made for a great location and there still seems to be room next door to it but it's a farther walk to the Zoo C-Train station.  But, i still think being in downtown is significant.

 

 

Disclaimer:

  • Plus, most importantly, I own a house in Sunalta so a new Flames arena nearby would liven up the local area, re-develop local businesses, define the neighbourhood as a Flames cultural epicenter, and ultimately raise my property value (Man, Sunalta feels like the new Old East Village sometimes).  As a matter of fact, 10th Avenure is an inexpensive commercial street that investors could turn into the new Red Mile, maybe call it the Red Kilometer just to be Canadian.  Anyways...

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Vancouver has the worst bottleneck for traffic and is probably the worst city in Canada for traffic. Anywhere you go during rush hour, traffic is horrible. They fit Rogers Arena in the DT core quite well. Not that I know anything about Calgary's downtown, but I think it's doable anywhere when you look at how Vancouver made theirs. 

 

But in terms of traffic, it can't be any worse than Vancouver's. 

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I feel that both of these suggestions have merit; and I think we can all agree that a new NHL rink must be close to an existing LRT Station.

 

My personal preference is for a new building on the Stampede grounds; but failing that, somewhere downtown.

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I feel that both of these suggestions have merit; and I think we can all agree that a new NHL rink must be close to an existing LRT Station.

 

My personal preference is for a new building on the Stampede grounds; but failing that, somewhere downtown.

Personally, I think the Stampede grounds is a great central/downtown spot (especially with 2 C-train stations serving the grounds).  However, they'd either have to tear down the old Corral, or designate some land in the new expansion zone to accommodate this.  Then there's the question of what to do with the Saddledome (if they build new on the Stampede grounds).

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It has to be downtown. Burke even alluded to the impact on the downtown core. They want investors and municipal funding.

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Vancouver has the worst bottleneck for traffic and is probably the worst city in Canada for traffic. Anywhere you go during rush hour, traffic is horrible. They fit Rogers Arena in the DT core quite well. Not that I know anything about Calgary's downtown, but I think it's doable anywhere when you look at how Vancouver made theirs. 

 

But in terms of traffic, it can't be any worse than Vancouver's. 

 

I had issues with Calgary traffic more than I've had with Vancouver's.  I found that Calgary's roads aren't able to support their rapid growth while Vancouver's roads have already been established with more than 2 lanes.

 

Of course the ring road helped, however, I've been living in Vancouver fulltime since '08 and it wasn't close to being finished when I left.

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Vancouver has the worst bottleneck for traffic and is probably the worst city in Canada for traffic. Anywhere you go during rush hour, traffic is horrible. They fit Rogers Arena in the DT core quite well. Not that I know anything about Calgary's downtown, but I think it's doable anywhere when you look at how Vancouver made theirs. 

 

But in terms of traffic, it can't be any worse than Vancouver's. 

Vancouver, Toronto (with both the ACC and Rogers centre), and boston are all places I've been too that are located DT and work just fine from a traffic perspective. He advantage to DT, IMO, is you rely less on vehicle traffic because more people will walk or talk transit. Right now the saddledome is just far enough outside the core where a lot of people would actually drive from their building in DT to the dome rather then get there and come back and get their vehicles. That's why I think it needs to be DT.

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Has anyone thought about it being across the street (and tracks) from city hall?  It would put it in the new East Village development that is getting lots of press and investment.  Also it would be one block from both transit lines, walking distance from downtown for people who work in the core to walk as well people who don't could park on the north end of the Stampede expansion zone and makes it only a few blocks from Steven Ave (new Red Mile).

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Has anyone thought about it being across the street (and tracks) from city hall?  It would put it in the new East Village development that is getting lots of press and investment.  Also it would be one block from both transit lines, walking distance from downtown for people who work in the core to walk as well people who don't could park on the north end of the Stampede expansion zone and makes it only a few blocks from Steven Ave (new Red Mile).

They are building a new public library in that space and an then the king eddy music centre, condos, etc. Go look at east village development map.

 

It has to be downtown. Burke even alluded to the impact on the downtown core. They want investors and municipal funding.

This ^^

 

Although the desire is for a new arena in the downtown core, I just don't see enough viable land available there.  Sure, there's fringe areas (Eau Claire Market, Mewata Armoury/old Science Centre, Pumphouse Theater, etc), but current traffic flow to those areas is significantly insufficient to handle any kind of event traffic, hockey/concert/etc).  I also seem to recall hearing somewhere that the Flames wanted out from under the Stampede's shadow (in terms of land space use).

 

To me, the only viable place that meets most of the criteria the Flames have said they're looking for is Fire Park (corner of Barlow Trail and Memorial Drive).  It definitely has the following things going for it:

  • access from major thoroughfares in both directions
  • lots of land space
  • incredibly accessible via transit (Barlow/Max Bell C-train stop is already built right there)
  • close enough to downtown without actually being downtown
  • Max Bell Arena is practically across the street (for close practice facility)
  • elevated, prominent skyline focal point

 

Fire Park has been a veritable parking lot for years, just begging for something to be developed there.

There is an insane amount of utilities that run along that area. Bell has a major centre for their fiber network hubs right there. Good luck getting a telco to reroute all their infrastructure to make way for a sports stadium.

 

Personally, I think the Stampede grounds is a great central/downtown spot (especially with 2 C-train stations serving the grounds).  However, they'd either have to tear down the old Corral, or designate some land in the new expansion zone to accommodate this.  Then there's the question of what to do with the Saddledome (if they build new on the Stampede grounds).

The stampede association has a masterplan that has the north side of the expanded ground (up to 11th avenue) being developed as they shift towards a year round venue space with a jimmy buffets and hotels. This plan has the arena going north of the current saddledome, close to the blocks of parking spaces.

 

The question isnt a matter of where really, more a question of when and who pays what.

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Vancouver has the worst bottleneck for traffic and is probably the worst city in Canada for traffic. Anywhere you go during rush hour, traffic is horrible. They fit Rogers Arena in the DT core quite well. Not that I know anything about Calgary's downtown, but I think it's doable anywhere when you look at how Vancouver made theirs. 

 

But in terms of traffic, it can't be any worse than Vancouver's. 

 

I lived in the north side of Burnaby for 3 years and worked in Coal Harbour area and North Vancouver.  Hastings ST is a breeze going in/out of downtown.  I'm talking 15-minute commutes to/from work living in Burnaby and working in downtown Vancouver.  It was great.  The bridges in/out of North Van are the worse but bridges are bad in every city.  It's no fun on Crowchild/Bow River.  No fun on Glenmore over the reservoir.  Deerfoot/Calf Robe is a trouble spot all the time.

 

Vancouver proper has a population of just over 600,000 but it's setup to handle traffic for about 1-million people.  Plus, due to Vancouver's gridline design with commercial on the main roads, walkability is one of the best in the country. Conversely, Calgary has a population of 1.1-mil but its road system is setup to handle only 600,000.  Worse is you have to have a car in Calgary.  Public transit is horrible and you can't walk to get your daily needs in most communities.

 

Calgary's traffic is comparable to Vancouver's considering Calgary's population is growing the fastest in the nation with a road system that is lagging behind about 15-years.

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The Key to Rogers Arena in the Vancouver DT is the skytrain station across the street.
Even during peak event traffic, traffic in the area is very good... lots of options to enter and exit the area.

So basically as long as Calgary has a mass transit option right near the DT building they should be good.

Eventually, with season ticket holders, there'll be a cultural shift to use the transit system if traffic is initial a big problem. I've been to Calgary a handful of times, but i had no idea they had a train system till i googled it right now... Doesn't seem to be a common option for getting around with the friends i have there.

Do you guys use it?

EDIT: ^Peeps' post was helpful in understanding the difference..

In looking at the map of Calgary with the train routes on it... there is such huge potential for expansion for adequate coverage for the outskirts of the cities... but $$$
483px-Calgary-CTrain_stations.png


For Vancouver: The Yellow, Dark and Light Blue lines are the train routes, with the circle beings the stations.
SkyTrain2.JPG

 

MOD EDIT: cleaned that up for ya, DL

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Has anyone thought about it being across the street (and tracks) from city hall?  It would put it in the new East Village development that is getting lots of press and investment.  Also it would be one block from both transit lines, walking distance from downtown for people who work in the core to walk as well people who don't could park on the north end of the Stampede expansion zone and makes it only a few blocks from Steven Ave (new Red Mile).

 

East Village already has plans for re-development.

 

Check it out,

http://www.calgarymlc.ca/explore-projects/east-village/master-plan/2014-3d-animation

 

The Flames are a few years too late to the game.  They will have to find another location. 

 

 

The stampede association has a masterplan that has the north side of the expanded ground (up to 11th avenue) being developed as they shift towards a year round venue space with a jimmy buffets and hotels. This plan has the arena going north of the current saddledome, close to the blocks of parking spaces.

 

The question isnt a matter of where really, more a question of when and who pays what.

 

I believe part of the plan is for the Flames to disassociate from the Stampede.  They would prefer to not be on Stampede grounds if possible and own their own arena and location.  This will require the city to "grant" them land whereby both the city and the team has gains.  For example, if the city wants to upscale/re-develop Sunalta/10th Ave SW, then the best plan is to do it in conjunction with a Flames arena.  Buy the land, give it to the Flames, the Flames will in turn bring in investors that pump money into the surrounding area, and ultimately, the city gains from new tax revenues.

 

I don't know what the math is to make it profitable but Sunalta is basically East Village version 2.0.  It can't be that expensive.

 

 

The Key to Rogers Arena in the Vancouver DT is the skytrain station across the street.

Even during peak event traffic, traffic in the area is very good... lots of options to enter and exit the area.

So basically as long as Calgary has a mass transit option right near the DT building they should be good.

Eventually, with season ticket holders, there'll be a cultural shift to use the transit system if traffic is initial a big problem. I've been to Calgary a handful of times, but i had no idea they had a train system till i googled it right now... Doesn't seem to be a common option for getting around with the friends i have there.

Do you guys use it?

EDIT: ^Peeps' post was helpful in understanding the difference..

In looking at the map of Calgary with the train routes on it... there is such huge potential for expansion for adequate coverage for the outskirts of the cities... but $$$

For Vancouver: The Yellow, Dark and Light Blue lines are the train routes, with the circle beings the stations.

 

Different beasts,

 

Vancouver has population density of 5249/km2

Calgary has population density of 1329/km2

 

Vancouver gets as cold as -5C

Calgary is frequently -30C or less

 

Vancouver average household income is ~$70k

Calgary average household income is ~$93k

 

Due to these main points, Vancouver's transit system is allowed to be more profitable, servicable, and feasible.  People in Calgary have more excuse to buy a car and drive.  So yea, the new arena HAS to be where there is already a train station.  There ain't going to be more train lines until 2020 or when Calgary's population hits certain milestones.

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Maybe now Ken King will get off his butt and get moving on the new arena he has been procrastinating & promising us for years now.

 

I for one am a little tired of the excuses  we get when he is asked about it.

 

like:

Well we are progressing at the same pace as Edmonton but waiting to see what they are doing first.

 

BS KK, the Oilers have broke ground and you haven't even settled on a spot to put it let alone a design....

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Maybe now Ken King will get off his butt and get moving on the new arena he has been procrastinating & promising us for years now.

 

I for one am a little tired of the excuses  we get when he is asked about it.

 

like:

Well we are progressing at the same pace as Edmonton but waiting to see what they are doing first.

 

BS KK, the Oilers have broke ground and you haven't even settled on a spot to put it let alone a design....

 

According to Wikipedia,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogers_Place

 

The latest cost estimates for the new Oilers Arena is upwards of $604.5-million.  The Flames definitely need to wait and see where that money is coming from before they pour too much of their own money into it themselves.  Sounds like federal, provincial, and municipal gov't have contributed a significant amount into the project.

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According to Wikipedia,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogers_Place

 

The latest cost estimates for the new Oilers Arena is upwards of $604.5-million.  The Flames definitely need to wait and see where that money is coming from before they pour too much of their own money into it themselves.  Sounds like federal, provincial, and municipal gov't have contributed a significant amount into the project.

 

 

I'm all for a new arena, but I'm vehemently against public money going into it.  It's totally irresponsible for a government to be in a debt/deficit position and throw money into non essential projects, even if those dollars were to support our beloved Flames.  I've come to terms with the high taxes that I pay as it supports my fellow Albertan neighbours and provides a more level playing field for all of our children, but having those same dollars go towards a private, for profit sports club is spit in my face.  I'd rather they have a crowd sourcing drive so that I can show my support directly.

 

/end rant

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I'm all for a new arena, but I'm vehemently against public money going into it.  It's totally irresponsible for a government to be in a debt/deficit position and throw money into non essential projects, even if those dollars were to support our beloved Flames.  I've come to terms with the high taxes that I pay as it supports my fellow Albertan neighbours and provides a more level playing field for all of our children, but having those same dollars go towards a private, for profit sports club is spit in my face.  I'd rather they have a crowd sourcing drive so that I can show my support directly.

 

/end rant

 

I used to look at it the same way you do until i asked whether a project like this helps the government make any money.

 

As mentioned in the wiki link for the Edmonton arena,

 

Rogers Place is estimated to increase the value of real estate within a 1-mile (1.6 km) radius[22] by hundreds of millions of dollars, according to University of Alberta economist Brad Humphreys.

 

In 2013, the assessed value of properties within the Downtown Edmonton Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) zone rose 13% versus 3.5% for the rest of Edmonton.[23]

 

In 2014, two inner city neighbourhoods recorded the highest increases in the city in terms of assessed property values. Boyle Street saw an 8.8% increase and McCauley saw an 8.1% increase versus 2.5% for the rest of Edmonton.[24]

 

Rogers Place was tied to a "hospitality explosion" even before ground was broken as operators were setting up their operations in anticipation of the new arena. In early 2014 there were far fewer options to lease or purchase as competition mounted.[25]

 

In March 2014 Brad J. Lamb announced $225 million of investment planned to build two new condo towers. The towers are directly correlated to the arena going ahead.[26]

 

What this means for the city, the province, and the federal government is higher property taxes collected.  More business tax revenues generated in the neighbourhood.  More jobs (thus more tax revenues).  Everything about it is an "increase in tax revenue".

 

Some group of accountants within the levels of government must have done math on the return on investment and decided the project is worth it to move forward with because the long term financial benefits outweight short term financial pain.  Not to mention the possibility the Oilers move out of town completely and all levels of government lose out on the potential to tax all things related to the Oilers and the arena area.

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I'm all for a new arena, but I'm vehemently against public money going into it.  It's totally irresponsible for a government to be in a debt/deficit position and throw money into non essential projects, even if those dollars were to support our beloved Flames.  I've come to terms with the high taxes that I pay as it supports my fellow Albertan neighbours and provides a more level playing field for all of our children, but having those same dollars go towards a private, for profit sports club is spit in my face.  I'd rather they have a crowd sourcing drive so that I can show my support directly.

 

/end rant

Ummm either way you're still paying something out of pocket be it through government taxes or by your suggestion.  Personally I'm for government funding.  And trust me the government could/would/does spend money on worse things than a new home for their major sports franchise that generates millions of dollars for your city.  Not to mention your tax return probably covers the actual out of pocket cost in taxes you end up paying out anyways.

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I used to look at it the same way you do until i asked whether a project like this helps the government make any money.

 

As mentioned in the wiki link for the Edmonton arena,

 

 

What this means for the city, the province, and the federal government is higher property taxes collected.  More business tax revenues generated in the neighbourhood.  More jobs (thus more tax revenues).  Everything about it is an "increase in tax revenue".

 

Some group of accountants within the levels of government must have done math on the return on investment and decided the project is worth it to move forward with because the long term financial benefits outweight short term financial pain.  Not to mention the possibility the Oilers move out of town completely and all levels of government lose out on the potential to tax all things related to the Oilers and the arena area.

 

This is always the argument for public funding of arenas, but I believe the reasoning is generally misguided and definitely wrong for Calgary.  For revitalization to occur, there has to be a favorable environment in the city where this could happen regardless of whether or not there is an arena involved.  Therefore, it would be more correct to say that the strength of the city is the driver of economic growth and the arena is only a supplement to that growth.  So if the economic conditions of the city is the driver of growth, then why wouldn't we want to invest our tax dollars towards projects like infrastructure that are guaranteed to provide a positive return?  I would argue that a new LRT line would have more impact than an arena for the same dollars.

 

Also, another flaw in this thinking is that the entire investment depends on the success and long term viability of the Club team, because taxpayers are always left on the hook when things go south.  Case in point, Jobing Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

 

Ummm either way you're still paying something out of pocket be it through government taxes or by your suggestion.  Personally I'm for government funding.  And trust me the government could/would/does spend money on worse things than a new home for their major sports franchise that generates millions of dollars for your city.  Not to mention your tax return probably covers the actual out of pocket cost in taxes you end up paying out anyways.

 

Crowd sourcing would be getting dollars only from fans and supporters of the club.  Tax money is from everyone and should only be spent for the greater benefit of all Calgarians/Albertans/Canadians.  It's a matter of priorities, would you rather have the money invested in hospitals, schools and infrastructure or to support a private for profit sports club?

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This is always the argument for public funding of arenas, but I believe the reasoning is generally misguided and definitely wrong for Calgary.  For revitalization to occur, there has to be a favorable environment in the city where this could happen regardless of whether or not there is an arena involved.  Therefore, it would be more correct to say that the strength of the city is the driver of economic growth and the arena is only a supplement to that growth.  So if the economic conditions of the city is the driver of growth, then why wouldn't we want to invest our tax dollars towards projects like infrastructure that are guaranteed to provide a positive return?  I would argue that a new LRT line would have more impact than an arena for the same dollars.

 

Also, another flaw in this thinking is that the entire investment depends on the success and long term viability of the Club team, because taxpayers are always left on the hook when things go south.  Case in point, Jobing Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

 

 

Crowd sourcing would be getting dollars only from fans and supporters of the club.  Tax money is from everyone and should only be spent for the greater benefit of all Calgarians/Albertans/Canadians.  It's a matter of priorities, would you rather have the money invested in hospitals, schools and infrastructure or to support a private for profit sports club?

And just how much money do you think could be raised with this crowd sourcing initiative?  I suspect it wouldn't be nearly as much as government funding.  You're living in a dream.  As of 2011 the population of Calgary was just over a million people.  Now lets say you get half of that population to donate 100 dollars, that's only 50 million.  This is not nearly enough money to help with the building of a new arena.  And let's be honest those numbers are generous.  I think you would be looking at half of that again of those people who would actually donate, its just not feasible.

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And just how much money do you think could be raised with this crowd sourcing initiative?  I suspect it wouldn't be nearly as much as government funding.  You're living in a dream.  As of 2011 the population of Calgary was just over a million people.  Now lets say you get half of that population to donate 100 dollars, that's only 50 million.  This is not nearly enough money to help with the building of a new arena.  And let's be honest those numbers are generous.  I think you would be looking at half of that again of those people who would actually donate, its just not feasible.

 

Crowd sourcing is just an idea I had for direct fundraising for the arena from fans, you are probably right that it will not lead to very much. 

 

The real money to build a new arena should come from private financing backed by the ticket, merchandise royalties and television revenues of the Calgary Flames, just like any other business looking to build a new facility.  This means that they will have to be diligent to make sure that the building can generate enough revenues to cover the costs of the financing.  If they can't do that on their own, then I don't see why the the government should have any business propping up a flawed business model. 

 

I'd rather not have a new arena if it is significantly funded by public money.

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Crowd sourcing is just an idea I had for direct fundraising for the arena from fans, you are probably right that it will not lead to very much. 

 

The real money to build a new arena should come from private financing backed by the ticket, merchandise royalties and television revenues of the Calgary Flames, just like any other business looking to build a new facility.  This means that they will have to be diligent to make sure that the building can generate enough revenues to cover the costs of the financing.  If they can't do that on their own, then I don't see why the the government should have any business propping up a flawed business model. 

 

I'd rather not have a new arena if it is significantly funded by public money.

 

I'm okay if they fund anywhere from $1 to $1-billion.  At the end of the day, the levels of government have to do their homework to study whether or not the long term return on investment will be a positive one. 

 

Take for example the USA government bailout of AIG and the big banks.  They didn't just give them money for free, the government "bought" shares of their company, financed them while they restructured.  All those companies came back stronger than ever and the government is now selling shares to repay the "loans" lent out and are now making money.

 

So that said, let's say the Calgary Flames decided on building a new arena in the Sunalta area and all levels of government currently collect a total of $1-million worth of tax income per year in the area.  If a new arena in Sunalta means all levels of government can potentially collect $35-million worth of tax income in the area and the Calgary Flames are asking for public funds of $100-million, then we're talking about a break even of about 4-years and after that, it's a gravy train.  The government should then fund the project for $100-million.  Heck, even $200-million might be worth it in the long run.

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I think there should be some public money involved but not a great deal. As a tax payer and a hockey fan I still don't support the idea of governments paying huge amount of money for private ventures like sports. Having said that, I think it's worth pointing out the arena has more impact then just the flames. Consider how many events and or concerts that skip calgary because the roof cannot support their equipment. Those concerts are generally not small names and typically would draw people from around the calgary area which means more positive tourism impact.

I think the benefits are thre in the long term but I do agree that governments should not fork over large amounts. I'd rather see the flames finance the arena and then government a support the traffic infrastructure around the arena so the flames can avoid the problem they are in right now in that the traffics around the arena is brutal.

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