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The Official Calgary Flames "New Arena" thread

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A few facts getting lost in this....

 

1- The $200 million is only for the field house NOT the arena. it's already been reportd (and the Flames have basiclaly confired) that the Arena will be full funded by the Flames and they are not asking for a penny from any level of government for that.

2- The $200 million is for the fieldhouse and the city has already approved a $200 million field house to be built in the NW Foothills park. Now what is not clear yet is if the Flames are asking for an additional $200 million or are saying if the plan is to spend $200 million anyway why not incude that in our project? Its not yet clear if the Flames are planning a project to include an Arena, Stadium for Stamps AND the fieldhouse, or if the project would be an Arena and a Stadium/Fieldhouse with the City then re allocating the $200 million from the NW Fieldhouse project to the CalgaryNext project.

 

I agree that the City is not going to put in a penny and its been strongly rumored that when the Flames made the proposal to Nenshi and council it was a solid No and a its never going to happen message. I actually think a major reason this has been to delayed is that the Flames had to go back to the drawing board becuase they've been told there are no City funds, and probably no provincial funds either, going towards a private project

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If I'm not mistaken, the city has already purchased the land around the Pumphouse area, GSL, and Greyhound. Not one penny needs to be given but what about "free land"? Or tax free leasing, etc. There are ways the city can give without giving cash.

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I still don't think the West End is the best place for all of this (if that is truly where it will be built).  Given the proximity to the river, flood potential still exists (moreso than the creek that runs behind the Saddledome), and I would think the Flames would be more than a little gunshy about building an all-encompassing multiplex that close to the Bow.  I still maintain that Foothills Atheletic Park (McMahon Stadium area) or Fire Park (near Max Bell arena) would be the better locations.  Guess we'll find out on Tuesday

 

(btw, part of me believes this is a media "stunt" for something Ken King is completely excited about, and thinks the rest of the city should be too, but will turn out to be something well-short of a new stadium announcement...something more along the lines of a new partnership, or a new corporate sponsor, or even a new charity foundation or a branch-out of the current Flames charities)

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If I'm not mistaken, the city has already purchased the land around the Pumphouse area, GSL, and Greyhound. Not one penny needs to be given but what about "free land"? Or tax free leasing, etc. There are ways the city can give without giving cash.

 

Something Nenshi has already suggested he won't do either....

 

Thats where I agree Peeps and thats where I would look for council to help. I think the City should be part of this process so if they give certain breaks on land acquisition or permit processing etc i think they should. The only thing that would dissapoint me is if the city said "hey you are a private company so you do it all yourself with zero help form us". That would be dissapointing because I do think there is going to be a significant fianncial gain for the City of Calgary with this project, just not enough to justify million or hundres of million dollars of investment worth.

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I still don't think the West End is the best place for all of this (if that is truly where it will be built).  Given the proximity to the river, flood potential still exists (moreso than the creek that runs behind the Saddledome), and I would think the Flames would be more than a little gunshy about building an all-encompassing multiplex that close to the Bow.  I still maintain that Foothills Atheletic Park (McMahon Stadium area) or Fire Park (near Max Bell arena) would be the better locations.  Guess we'll find out on Tuesday

 

I still think the best location is a Central location, not somewhere in the NW or NE outside of downtown.  When games finish at the Saddledome, many fans venture off to 17th Ave to continue the party.  Where do Stamps fans currently go party after games?  I mean, that whole area in the foothills has no potential for further commercial development aside from the strip mall by the C-Train station.

 

Same story with the Fire Park area.

 

These two locations simply allow fans to go to the game and then go home afterwards.  Remaking the West End of downtown has potential for massive revenue for the city down the road where fans come downtown to watch the game and remain downtown for the party afterwards.

 

 

Something Nenshi has already suggested he won't do either....

 

Thats where I agree Peeps and thats where I would look for council to help. I think the City should be part of this process so if they give certain breaks on land acquisition or permit processing etc i think they should. The only thing that would dissapoint me is if the city said "hey you are a private company so you do it all yourself with zero help form us". That would be dissapointing because I do think there is going to be a significant fianncial gain for the City of Calgary with this project, just not enough to justify million or hundres of million dollars of investment worth.

 

The optics look bad if the Flames straight up ask for money in a down economy with everybody in Calgary struggling to stay afloat to ride this crude cycle out.  For Alberta as a whole.  On the other hand, if they ask for land, roads to be built, maybe raising the banks along the river for protection, etc, these items would look better.

 

Building roads, civil works, infrastructure is job creation.  Nenshi has to see this as a benefit.  The arena should be locally designed, engineered, constructed, etc. As many of the jobs to build the arena must stay with the locals.  I think Nenshi has to reconsider.

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I still think the best location is a Central location, not somewhere in the NW or NE outside of downtown.  When games finish at the Saddledome, many fans venture off to 17th Ave to continue the party.  Where do Stamps fans currently go party after games?  I mean, that whole area in the foothills has no potential for further commercial development aside from the strip mall by the C-Train station.

 

Same story with the Fire Park area.

 

These two locations simply allow fans to go to the game and then go home afterwards.  Remaking the West End of downtown has potential for massive revenue for the city down the road where fans come downtown to watch the game and remain downtown for the party afterwards.

 

"after parties" are definitely a consideration, but downtown is currently capable of smoothly handling rush hour traffic, let alone capable of handling that many people coming out of a hockey game (currently 19k people, new stadium would undoubtedly hold more), or a football game (currently 46K people, again undoubtedly more with a new stadium)

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The area around McMahon is a theoretical possibility, but the big problem is, you'd basically have to rip down McMahon before you can start building, and that leaves the Stamps without a stadium for at least a couple years.

 

The baseball diamond and fields limit things, and they can't close the parking lot for the C-train/McMahon for that period of time either.

 

The bigger issue though, that a lot here don't seem to realize, is that the entire Foothills Athletic Park is actually on land owned by the University of Calgary. They get a nice slice of revenue from the buildings there (and the Dinos play at McMahon). I don't see them handing over that giant chunk of property to the Flames ownership when they're focused on the University District (I REALLY hat that name) development on the west side of campus.

 

That basically conclusively rules that out.

 

 

So the west end of downtown looks the most likely. It needs redevelopment anyway and a major Stadium/Arena/Fieldhouse would be a great jumpstart to that. The whole area could be turned into a very large combination of Residential and entertainment - a few condo towers, the arena, a new glenbow, and a walkable dining/bar area along the river, along with the planned Pumphouse theater expansion.

 

What might work for the city and the Flames would be an agreement that the Flames would obtain ownership of the land free of charge if they a) cover all costs of creosote cleanup, and B) fund construction of a covered pedway with handicap access from the Sunalta C-train station to the complex/west end.

 

If they are willing to build the fieldhouse, I think it only makes sense that the city also make the 200million available to fund that portion of the project.

 

That way the Flames get some benefit (free land) and the city doesn't have to outlay any money outside what they already have earmarked.

 

 

One potential arena location I was thinking about that no one seems to mention is the dead-zone along MacLeod Trail north of Chinook. There's a lot of land along Macleod that is either empty or with building begging to be demolished. And there are two c-train stations that it could be put quite near a potential stadium.

 

The city has announced plans to re-develop Maleod in the future to be pedestrian friendly with a lot of shopping and retail along it, this could be an excellent jumpstart not far from downtown.

 

 

 

(personally I still think the west village is the best option)

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I don't think a building outside of the downtown core is a good idea either i think projects like this need to be as close to DT as possible. A lot of pepole are going to complain about traffic and how are they suppose to get around etc, but forget that if you have an arena/stadium that close to downtown i think a large number of people won't even bother to drive. workers downtown could work an extra hour or two befor heading over or have dinner and then head over and I think right now becuase the Dome is just a little ways outside the Core no one really wants to do that. I've always found in other arenas that i've visited that downtown arena's actually reduce the amount of traffic, not increase it.

 

The only really traffic concerns i see with this location is anyone who wants to head North on Crowchild after the game and has to cross the bridge. I konw this on the cities radar to correct anyway, but its going to be a nightmare for anyone trying to get out of there and head north up to the NW as it is currently arraigned.

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A couple of "leaked" images I found from the Calgary NEXT meeting

 

CMtb5urWsAA_12q_zpsrwas1qid.jpg

 

CMtcCHVWIAAfJFQ_zpshrg6osku.jpg

 

There will be a live-streamed press conference at 2:30 this afternoon.

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Main details are all out. Will be a "Events center" (not calling it an arena) and a Stadium/Fieldhouse to house the Stamps, a FIFA regulations soccer center and track. Fieldhouse will convert from Stadium to fieldhouse as required and will be covered so no more outdoor football games. Roofs on both facilities are translucent so sun will shine into the arena as well as Stadium.

 

Estimated cost - 890Milion. Broken down with 200 million from Flames, 200 million from City for the fieldhouse (as I said above city has already approved 200 million for a fieldhouse elsewhere) 250$ million in a tax on business in the area and the remaning 240/250 million will come via tickets.

 

Really important note though - that 890 does NOT include the remediation cost of the land which as Peeps said is estimated to be as much as 300 million. King noted that he expects all levels of government (Fed, Provs and Municipal) to help with the Flames to assess and get the land ready.

 

All in all, Flames are asking various levels of governement for anywhere between 500million and 800 million in some sort of funding so i think this is going to be a HUGE battle for King and co. On a personal note, while the project features some cool things i'm not overly impressed. i don't like the idea of a translucent roof on either structure, I will miss football games outdoors. As a season ticket holder i don't love that i will finance a big chunk of this and as a taxpayer will fund another chunk. 

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If Calgary is interested in getting a Major League Soccer team, then it has to be an indoor field, no question about it.  In regards to the Stamps playing indoors, i'm okay with it too.  I've always blamed the snow and cold of the Calgary playoff home games as a reason the Stamps didn't win more Grey Cups.  It's also not really a home game advantage to play in blizzard conditions when practically everywhere in Canada is colder than Calgary except Vancouver.  It's not like Green Bay Packers welcoming the Dallas Cowboys at home.  It's Canadian teams vs Canadian teams.  Bring the CFL indoors so players can use their skills fully.

 

Also, a translucent roof could create greenhouse environments suitable for growing indoor grass.

 

The $300-million clean-up costs of the West end was a shocker to me. It's a huge amount of money that can make or break the project.

 

The way they are presenting the project though, they wanted to make sure if wasn't the Flames asking all levels of government for money but rather, the Flames in conjunction with the Stampeders, a future MLS team possibly, so the Flames portion represents maybe $600-million of the $890-million proposed (which is the cost of the Oilers new arena that Albertans are all paying for right now).

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I think that a covered stadium is a necessity in this climate. I know some people will not be fans, but I like it. The translucent roofs on both are a brilliant idea that I hope they keep in whatever design they come up with.

 

What stuns me is how the city is already balking at funding.

 

The Flames aren't really asking for any funding beyond what the city has a) earmarked for the fieldhouse anyway, and B) a tax on FUTURE development that will be rapidly accelerated by the presence of the arena. Both of those are completely reasonable.

 

The cleanup is the sticky point that they're asking for from all governments. But here's the thing - no one else is going to move onto and redevelop those lands without help aying for the cleanup either. They'll move into the East Village, or Mission, or Bowness, or Edmonton Trail, or Macleod, or 16th avenue and redevelop sites there that don't need remediation.

 

The city/province are going to have to bite the bullet and clean up that land eventually anyway.

 

Am I thrilled to be paying more taxes for that? No. But its going to happen sooner or later. Could also roll some ta increases into fugure development in the area for that as well.

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I think that a covered stadium is a necessity in this climate. I know some people will not be fans, but I like it. The translucent roofs on both are a brilliant idea that I hope they keep in whatever design they come up with.

 

What stuns me is how the city is already balking at funding.

 

The Flames aren't really asking for any funding beyond what the city has a) earmarked for the fieldhouse anyway, and B) a tax on FUTURE development that will be rapidly accelerated by the presence of the arena. Both of those are completely reasonable.

 

The cleanup is the sticky point that they're asking for from all governments. But here's the thing - no one else is going to move onto and redevelop those lands without help aying for the cleanup either. They'll move into the East Village, or Mission, or Bowness, or Edmonton Trail, or Macleod, or 16th avenue and redevelop sites there that don't need remediation.

 

The city/province are going to have to bite the bullet and clean up that land eventually anyway.

 

Am I thrilled to be paying more taxes for that? No. But its going to happen sooner or later. Could also roll some ta increases into fugure development in the area for that as well.

Really the tax increase shouldnt be that noticeable as I said before, theres 1.1 million people in calgary, and if half of those are taxed it shouldnt really be that noticeable. Also as you said this could be key to future devolpment which I would be happy about.

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What exactly is the cleanup? What is wrong with the land that requires cleanup at an estimated $300mil, which is undoubtedly the lowball figure?

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A couple points I picked up from the presentation:

 

  • The area is NOT a flood zone.  I live in Sunalta and we never got flooded in 2013.  We never even got a warning to evacuate the area.  At no time was the area at risk of a flood and is not considered by the city to be on the map as a flood zone.  The only way Sunalta will flood is if Hillhurst floods completely with 10 feet of water, then the waters may begin to go up the south banks of the Bow River.
  • That said, as mentioned during the question period, there exists a water table underneath the proposed area and if/when Calgary floods, the toxic chemicals buried beneath the area has potential to move and/or seep its way into the river system.  As of now, the city's stance on the contamination is to leave it for the next generation to deal with.  Which means at some point in time, a flood could theoretically sweep the toxic materials into the river.  This new arena/stadium proposal is the exact catalyst required to get the city and province talking about cleaning up the contaminants sooner rather than later.
  • Lastly, if the province and city decides to not clean up the contaminants, then West End downtown will forever be a Greyhound station and a couple car dealerships which is a bit of a shame.  It's wasted land and a wasted opportunity.
  • I never knew this but apparently the city has a building design code that prevents the shadow of a building/structure from casting a shadow over the Bow River.  Interesting and certainly handcuffs the potential designs for the new complex.
  • City council sounds cautiously optimistic that this project could go through.  There is a good vibe about it.  Outside of Nenshi who's just doing his job by playing poker, no one is saying 'no'.  Even then, Nenshi is saying there's no money now and will not use public money to fund private business, there's room for interpretation and there's room for him to move on that stance because there are ways to justify this as partly a public venue and there's a way to raise money for the project that's years away from construction.
  • The only other location that was seriously considered for a new arena is the Stampede grounds.  One person cited the proposed Calgary/Edmonton speed train will have it's main Calgary station right outside the Stampede grounds.  Also, the new Green Line C-Train is proposed to run just North of the Stampede grounds so potential C-Train access was a big draw.

Overall, the $890-million estimate and its funding breakdown is reasonable for a modern arena/stadium in my opinion.  Though, it's probably estimated on the low end of the spectrum for obvious reasons.  There's no money now but we can begin collecting tax money into a new stadium fund beginning the new tax season and by 3 to 5 years time, there could be enough money to begin the project.

 

I'm personally okay spending tax money on these type of projects as long as the work to construct it remains in the city/province.  This means we better not contract out the $75-million engineering costs to a Swedish engineering company or something like that.  That money has to stay local to stimulate local economic growth.

 

The deal breaker for me is potentially the $300-million clean-up because that adds a significant portion of money to the project (and as conundrumed is saying, it's probably estimated on the low end as well).  Although, i feel a clean-up is required sooner or later so might as well do it now.

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I have a friend who lives at 6th Ave and 10th St (9th?) SW and her appartment building did definitely get flooded in 2013. So to say the arena isn't in a potential flood zone surprises me.

 

That said, with mitigation projects hopefully we should never see that again.

 

 

 

 

As to the cleanup, we're going to wind up paying for that with tax dollars sometime in the next 50 years. No developer will touch that land when there's hundreds of million on cleanup that they have to pay for. Not when they have any other option. The city and province will have to shrug and pay for it. To pretend otherwise like Nenshi is doing is bordering on irresponsible. There's a reason that there's nothing other than a bus barn and car lots there.

 

The arena could be a great catalyst. Have the place cleaned up, and attract new tenents. There's already the new three tower condos going up kitty corner from Staples at the west side of the current Down Town. Transition through Mewata armories and Millenium park into the stadium and you have a great opportunity for a redevloped and revitalized area.

 

 

Yes, the city does have rules that any building along the river cannot cast a shadow on the Bow. Personally I think that's a really nice idea.

 

However, keep in mind that along Eau Clare there are 10-15 story condo towers within 50 feet of the river. No stadium will be nearly that tall. There's no real design constraints unless they want to stick a 30-story hotel tower on one end of it.

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What exactly is the cleanup? What is wrong with the land that requires cleanup at an estimated $300mil, which is undoubtedly the lowball figure?

 

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/reaction-to-flames-arena-plans

 

The attached article talks of a clean-up done in the 1990’s.  The so called “cleanup” was minimal, a more accurate statement would have been “containment”.  A 650m slurry wall was installed along the south embankment of the Bow River, the purpose of the slurry wall was to “contain” the hazardous creosote chemical from seeping into the adjacent Bow River.  According to the article, creosote has since migrated under the river towards the north and has been found in basements in Hillhurst on the north side of the river.  If the contamination is going under the river to the north, how much has been going down the river to the east?  This cleanup will not be cheap, the safety restrictions and monitoring attached to this will be suffocating.  When the work does begin, the invoices for engineers and contractors will add up quickly.

I was impressed with Ken Kings presentation today.  We need a new arena, we need a new stadium, we need a new field house, and we need to clean up the contaminated land.  Hopefully intelligent minds can move this proposal forward in a way that benefits all those who call this city home.

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I'm totally in favour of cleaning up the area. It has to be done at some point, and the costs are unlikely to shrink any time soon. Beyond that I don't want a single tax dollar going toward this project. We already have a perfectly decent arena, and McMahon stadium is still fine for football. Why should the city shell out 3/4 of the project funding PLUS cleanup so a bunch of rich guys can make even more money?

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I'm totally in favour of cleaning up the area. It has to be done at some point, and the costs are unlikely to shrink any time soon. Beyond that I don't want a single tax dollar going toward this project. We already have a perfectly decent arena, and McMahon stadium is still fine for football. Why should the city shell out 3/4 of the project funding PLUS cleanup so a bunch of rich guys can make even more money?

Both the arena and mcmahon are outdated, and the clean up of the area would help the city. They are going to make money regardless of building a new arena or not, also the field house was already slated for construction, they are just suggesting building it there instead of where was orginally proposed. Also 3/4 is not being paid for by the city, as 250$ million is being paid for by ticket tax, 200$ million put up by the flames, 240$ milion for community revitilization, and 200$ for the field house( that was already planned money), so I dont know where you got 3/4 of the funding.

 

http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/flames-announce-plans-for-900m-arena-and-stadium/

 

The saddledome is outdated and we could use a new stadium especially with the new one going up in edmonton. In Calgary its already a problem that certain shows wont come to the saddledome, Id like to see that changed.

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There is no way you can call eithre the saddledome or McMahon "Decent". They both are below average buildings especially McMahon. McMahon is to the point now where its actulaly taken away form the experience of going and iMO is one of the reasons you see the attendance falling. If you want to go to the bathoom you basiclaly have to pick between missing parts of the game or standing in line for your entire halftime. Good luck getting any decent food there either and then go have a seat on concrete and cold metal. I love football and I love the Stamps and even I second guess going to games in person becuase the "experience" is not worth the money.

 

here is the reality, its not about sports anymore. I think people who think the Dome or McMahon are ok or fine just want to go there and watch a game but thats not relaity anymore. With how expensive it is to go to these things you have to sell an experience, you can't just sell the product on the ice/field, you have to sell the total package. Otherwise, why would anyone go? Every game is on TV now so if you are just selling the product you would see fans choose to stay home. its the experience people want, they don't want to wait in line up 20-30 mins to go to the bathoom, they don't want to bounce off 5 or 6 people trying to walk to get a beer, they want to have the stadium/arean interact with them etc etc etc. with the Flames its less of an issue because of how much we love hockey in Canda but no doubt in my mind that a large reason you see attendance decreasing for the Stamps is becuase more and more fans get a better experience watching the game at home or at a bar then watching it at McMahon.

 

the other issue for me is attraction. IMO, Calgary is a world class City that should attract the best of the best and in order to do that you have to have the facilities. I personally found it embarassing that with the Women's World Cup just here Calgary could not host a game becuase we didn't have an appropriate facility. Thats embarassing IMO. i think its terrible that we can't attract the top concerts, that we can't have an MLS of a soccer team or really any type of competitive soccer of any kind and I also think its terrible that while we have top notch winter atheletic facilities we have basically nothing for summer athletics.

 

I would recommnend those not in favor of a new arena/stadium etc look at the big picture here and realise that this is only in small part about the Flames and the Stamps. Look at the legacy that facilities for the 88 games has created. You don't think having a top notch facilities for athletics or soccer can do the same? you don't think that potentially having an MLS of professional soccer team in Calgary would not help make Canadian soccer more competitive across the World?

 

this is a ramble and I apologize but i'm very passionate about Calgary being a World class city and i think in order to do that you need World Class facilties. i get not everyone cares about that and that's fine I get it, but I would really stress that there is a much bigger picture here then the Flames and their owners wanting to make some more money. of course thats a primary motivator but there are other factors here too, many of which would help Calgary grealty.

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There is no way you can call eithre the saddledome or McMahon "Decent". They both are below average buildings especially McMahon. McMahon is to the point now where its actulaly taken away form the experience of going and iMO is one of the reasons you see the attendance falling. If you want to go to the bathoom you basiclaly have to pick between missing parts of the game or standing in line for your entire halftime. Good luck getting any decent food there either and then go have a seat on concrete and cold metal. I love football and I love the Stamps and even I second guess going to games in person becuase the "experience" is not worth the money.

 

here is the reality, its not about sports anymore. I think people who think the Dome or McMahon are ok or fine just want to go there and watch a game but thats not relaity anymore. With how expensive it is to go to these things you have to sell an experience, you can't just sell the product on the ice/field, you have to sell the total package. Otherwise, why would anyone go? Every game is on TV now so if you are just selling the product you would see fans choose to stay home. its the experience people want, they don't want to wait in line up 20-30 mins to go to the bathoom, they don't want to bounce off 5 or 6 people trying to walk to get a beer, they want to have the stadium/arean interact with them etc etc etc. with the Flames its less of an issue because of how much we love hockey in Canda but no doubt in my mind that a large reason you see attendance decreasing for the Stamps is becuase more and more fans get a better experience watching the game at home or at a bar then watching it at McMahon.

 

the other issue for me is attraction. IMO, Calgary is a world class City that should attract the best of the best and in order to do that you have to have the facilities. I personally found it embarassing that with the Women's World Cup just here Calgary could not host a game becuase we didn't have an appropriate facility. Thats embarassing IMO. i think its terrible that we can't attract the top concerts, that we can't have an MLS of a soccer team or really any type of competitive soccer of any kind and I also think its terrible that while we have top notch winter atheletic facilities we have basically nothing for summer athletics.

 

I would recommnend those not in favor of a new arena/stadium etc look at the big picture here and realise that this is only in small part about the Flames and the Stamps. Look at the legacy that facilities for the 88 games has created. You don't think having a top notch facilities for athletics or soccer can do the same? you don't think that potentially having an MLS of professional soccer team in Calgary would not help make Canadian soccer more competitive across the World?

 

this is a ramble and I apologize but i'm very passionate about Calgary being a World class city and i think in order to do that you need World Class facilties. i get not everyone cares about that and that's fine I get it, but I would really stress that there is a much bigger picture here then the Flames and their owners wanting to make some more money. of course thats a primary motivator but there are other factors here too, many of which would help Calgary grealty.

That is for sure one of the most frustrating parts of going to a flames game or stamps game, standing in line for 30 minutes to go to the bathroom or get something from a canteen. I would like to see new buildings where people have a great experience, even now people dont enjoy going to stamps games becuase it is generally cold and miserable.

 

Also bringing in new concerts and events will help make the city money, it wont hinder it. Redoing the west end of downtown would help the city as a whole, not hinder it either. I really cant believe people are arguing against spending money on something like this, when your tax dollars wont be that much different per individual person, as I mentioned in a previous post you might only be looking at 20-30 dollars per person per month. I would love to see a new arena to be proud of, and be able to see concerts without going somewhere else because our facilitys are not good enough.

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