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World Class Cities

 

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Require World Class Airports

 

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To draw people from around the world using non-stop flights

 

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To watch World Class Entertainment, at World Class Facilities

 

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World Class Cities

 

d0cf5ac6ffd345bb953781370ae6d5ce.jpg

 

 

Require World Class Airports

 

5db8df6e569ef21bde487f6c88140bca.jpg

 

 

To draw people from around the world using non-stop flights

 

4a8f1ab6434d4f46dd6af3f3495a74fe.png

 

 

To watch World Class Entertainment, at World Class Facilities

 

8f4f8f1aa35176b2924dbde28c4d39b9.png

 

YAHOO FINALLY

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Taxpayers can't expect to get world-class facilities for free in their city. It doesn't happen.

The cleanup bill has my eyebrows raised. Is it a $300mil stall or a $800,000,000 cleanup?

And why would the Flames be on the hook for any of that?

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I'll grant you that McMahon is not the greatest, but I disagree about the dome. Do we really want to drop a billion dollars just so the washrooms are a bit bigger with nicer tvs above the urinals? And lets not kid ourselves, these numbers are likely a low ball estimate for the cost. While we are at it, lets break down how that funding is laid out.

Ticket tax: In other words, higher ticket prices. Already costs an arm and a leg to go to a game, now I will have to drop a part of my torso too.

Community Dev Levy: This is actually a tax. A tax the city would otherwise put toward general revenue, which they will instead give to the flames. Doing this comes with an opportunity cost. This is city money, it's just disguised as something else.

Direct Funding: Slated at 250 million, this does not include 200-300 million remediation cost or the inevitable cost overurns that will probably be on the city. Tack on about 150-200 million more for that eventuality. How many shelters could be built? Schools? Community centres and arenas? As for world class facilities being a good investment, how often do these mega projects ever pay for themselves? I would recommend watching John Oliver's bit on stadiums for those who think stadiums provide sufficient economic and social spin offs for cities.

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Also, Aren't the Flames suggesting that the arenas are owned by the city as well, therefore, the city makes the monies off of whatever is played or rented there? The Flames aren't going to own it. If I recall, King said that the city owns the current venues and the teams are fine with that arrangement.  

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Devil's in the details. Edmonton technically owns their new arena, but Katz gets the naming rights, almost all ticket revenue for all events (not just oilers games), and the only money he has to put up is rent (often reported as his contribution to the arena project, effectively meaning the oilers play there for free for 35 years). If these big arena deals made financial sense, why do they need our money anyway?

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I'll grant you that McMahon is not the greatest, but I disagree about the dome. Do we really want to drop a billion dollars just so the washrooms are a bit bigger with nicer tvs above the urinals? And lets not kid ourselves, these numbers are likely a low ball estimate for the cost. While we are at it, lets break down how that funding is laid out.

Ticket tax: In other words, higher ticket prices. Already costs an arm and a leg to go to a game, now I will have to drop a part of my torso too.

Community Dev Levy: This is actually a tax. A tax the city would otherwise put toward general revenue, which they will instead give to the flames. Doing this comes with an opportunity cost. This is city money, it's just disguised as something else.

Direct Funding: Slated at 250 million, this does not include 200-300 million remediation cost or the inevitable cost overurns that will probably be on the city. Tack on about 150-200 million more for that eventuality. How many shelters could be built? Schools? Community centres and arenas? As for world class facilities being a good investment, how often do these mega projects ever pay for themselves? I would recommend watching John Oliver's bit on stadiums for those who think stadiums provide sufficient economic and social spin offs for cities.

 

 

let's also keep in mind that this if how the Flames propose the project gets paid for. When was the last time anything of this scope was settled on the first proposal. No question in my mind that the funding proposal the Flames put forward will not be what the final agreement is that is why you negotiate. What King and the Flames have done is say, here is our proposal so let's start talking and find out what works for both that is all.

 

I agree with you that there is too much burden on the tax payer in this proposal and complete agree about the levy. The levy is just a fancy way of moving numbers around on the balance sheet to make it look like they havn't gone to the city or the taxpayer to ask for "additional" funds, but make no mistake that Community levy comes out of the cities coffers so in a round about way it is tax payer dollars.

 

Where I disagree though is when you say this won't pay for itself. these projects always eventually pay for themselve,heck even the disaster that was Olympic Stadium in Montreal paid for itself, but it is a question of how long and how the financing was done. While John Oliver makes some good points in his discussion he also uses some very extreme examples and most of his examples come from the US where its not uncommong to see Arenas 100% financed by taxpayers and government and that is not being proposed by the Flames.

 

At the end of the day i think this project needs to happen and will happen but fully agree how it gets paid for needs to be reworked. Restoration costs aside for a second, I think a more happier medium is the Flames owners kicking in an extra say 50-75 million, another 50 mill or so in a ticket tax and thus less money that is required thorugh actual tax dollars. however, i think its completely unrealistic nor accurate to expect that a building that will be used for city benefit be funded entirely by private enterpirse. I understand that stadiums don't produce a bundle of cash for a municpality but they do provide some benefit and adding to that the city does projects all the time that do not produce a net benefit to the city. do you think the city will get its 300 million back on the airport tunnel? do you think the new Calgary library will produce enough revenue to warrant its $260 million dollar cost? i don't think is accurate to look at funding a project by saying when and are we going to get our money back becuase i would argue that the city doesn't get its "money back" on most of the projects they would finance. You have to look at the net impact of the city and thats where I do agree that over the long term the actual net benefit to governments throwing large amounts of financing towrads arena projects isn't really there which is why i do think that when push comes to show the Flames owners need to put more money up and find another way to raise money that does not involve using tax payer dollars, but i also don't think its fair that governments dont' share in financing this at all becuase there is going to be a net benefit to the city. As has been said, the fieldhouse will essentially be another leisure center that anyone can use and i think both the stadium and fieldhouse facilities will help create an athletic legacy in Calgary and that has to be considered when you use public funds too. Keep in mind another fact too, and that is that taxpayer dollars build the Saddledome. Would you call that a bad investment?

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I guess my gut reaction is negative because of the dollars involved and the absolute fleecing of Edmonton by Katz. Having thought about it, I would support the city cleaning up the area and maybe building the field house (not really sure what that will look like). After that, beyond giving the flames tax incentives to build the complex, I would rather not contribute to the rest of the costs. This is a business venture, and the business should shoulder the risk as they will reap the greatest financial benefits.

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I guess my gut reaction is negative because of the dollars involved and the absolute fleecing of Edmonton by Katz. Having thought about it, I would support the city cleaning up the area and maybe building the field house (not really sure what that will look like). After that, beyond giving the flames tax incentives to build the complex, I would rather not contribute to the rest of the costs. This is a business venture, and the business should shoulder the risk as they will reap the greatest financial benefits.

 

I was dissapointed by Katz too and I feel at the end of the day he bullied Edmonton into getting what he wants. Unfortuantely the reason why Cities and taxpayers end up funding these massive projects is they feel the alternative is the team will move and they will lose out on it and Katz played that card. I would realy, really hope that even if the city plays hardball the Flames would not stoop to that level but as the saying goes you can't really have friends in business.

 

It depends on how you view both the project and the role of government i guess. yes this is a business venture but I would argue its a business venture for the city as well as for the Flames. yes the Flames will take alot of the extra revenue but i think there are alot of net benefits to the city as well but not necessairly from a pure financial perspective. I view this as a shared business deal between the two and hope the two sides can come to an arrangement that works for both. I agree, that at first tax this probably is not a good deal for the City of Calgary and I hope the Flames and their owners are open to negoating further.

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I'll grant you that McMahon is not the greatest, but I disagree about the dome. Do we really want to drop a billion dollars just so the washrooms are a bit bigger with nicer tvs above the urinals? And lets not kid ourselves, these numbers are likely a low ball estimate for the cost. While we are at it, lets break down how that funding is laid out.

Ticket tax: In other words, higher ticket prices. Already costs an arm and a leg to go to a game, now I will have to drop a part of my torso too.

Community Dev Levy: This is actually a tax. A tax the city would otherwise put toward general revenue, which they will instead give to the flames. Doing this comes with an opportunity cost. This is city money, it's just disguised as something else.

Direct Funding: Slated at 250 million, this does not include 200-300 million remediation cost or the inevitable cost overurns that will probably be on the city. Tack on about 150-200 million more for that eventuality. How many shelters could be built? Schools? Community centres and arenas? As for world class facilities being a good investment, how often do these mega projects ever pay for themselves? I would recommend watching John Oliver's bit on stadiums for those who think stadiums provide sufficient economic and social spin offs for cities.

 

The Flames are offering to kick in $200M (out of pocket) and $250M (Flames ticket increase) which equates to 50% of the new facility cost.  Another 23% has already been allocated by the city to a new fieldhouse.  The city will be the owner of remediated (cleaned up) land and a state of the art facilities, surrounded by sought after land by developers that will become a cash cow for the city.  As the land sits now, it is a waste land, bringing next to zero money back to the city.

 

As a neighbour, if I came to you and said “hoarder, if you clean up all that garbage your hording in your back yard, I will offer to finance new landscaping and upgrades for your yard, dollar for dollar up to a total cost of $890M.  Would you slam the door in my face and continue to hoard or would you accept this deal, becoming the nicest property in the area?

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The Flames are offering to kick in $200M (out of pocket) and $250M (Flames ticket increase) which equates to 50% of the new facility cost.  Another 23% has already been allocated by the city to a new fieldhouse.  The city will be the owner of remediated (cleaned up) land and a state of the art facilities, surrounded by sought after land by developers that will become a cash cow for the city.  As the land sits now, it is a waste land, bringing next to zero money back to the city.

 

As a neighbour, if I came to you and said “hoarder, if you clean up all that garbage your hording in your back yard, I will offer to finance new landscaping and upgrades for your yard, dollar for dollar up to a total cost of $890M.  Would you slam the door in my face and continue to hoard or would you accept this deal, becoming the nicest property in the area?

 

Throw in a month's worth of Chicago Deep Dish pizza and a flat of Canadian every week for a year, and you got yourself a deal.

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The Flames are offering to kick in $200M (out of pocket) and $250M (Flames ticket increase) which equates to 50% of the new facility cost.  Another 23% has already been allocated by the city to a new fieldhouse.  The city will be the owner of remediated (cleaned up) land and a state of the art facilities, surrounded by sought after land by developers that will become a cash cow for the city.  As the land sits now, it is a waste land, bringing next to zero money back to the city.

 

As a neighbour, if I came to you and said “hoarder, if you clean up all that garbage your hording in your back yard, I will offer to finance new landscaping and upgrades for your yard, dollar for dollar up to a total cost of $890M.  Would you slam the door in my face and continue to hoard or would you accept this deal, becoming the nicest property in the area?

 

i think this is the key point though that needs to be addressed becuase i disagree with the notion that it will be a "cash cow". yes there will be future development in the area but that will come form business who probably already had plans to devleop anyway they jsut move their location. For example, let's say Shanks wants a piece of the action and wants a bar in that area. Do you think they would open up a brand new location and run 3 locations or would they close one and move it to that area? for companies that are likely going to want to look into building condo's in the area do you think they are going to get the idea to do so only becuase there is an arena, or will they take pre exising plans and move them to that location becuase of the proximity? Basically what i'm saying is that i think assuming that the arena will lead to actual tangible growth is misealding IMO. i think what i more likely to happen is for the net growth to actually be quite small becuse you will see development that would have taken place elsewhere get re directed to this area.

 

So yes, there will be some new revenue genreated becuase you can likely add on ome tax due to the proximity to the arena, but from a City perspective its a minimal gain becuase they lose the revenue from projects that would have taken place elsewhere and move it here. not to mention, until the arena is paid back they won't see any revenue from it at all.

 

having said that i do support the project and i do competely agree that the concept of fixing up the area is in itself a worthwile business venture. However, I disagree that what the Flames has propossed is a cash cow for the city and in fact i would probably argue the opposite right now.

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i think this is the key point though that needs to be addressed becuase i disagree with the notion that it will be a "cash cow". yes there will be future development in the area but that will come form business who probably already had plans to devleop anyway they jsut move their location. For example, let's say Shanks wants a piece of the action and wants a bar in that area. Do you think they would open up a brand new location and run 3 locations or would they close one and move it to that area? for companies that are likely going to want to look into building condo's in the area do you think they are going to get the idea to do so only becuase there is an arena, or will they take pre exising plans and move them to that location becuase of the proximity? Basically what i'm saying is that i think assuming that the arena will lead to actual tangible growth is misealding IMO. i think what i more likely to happen is for the net growth to actually be quite small becuse you will see development that would have taken place elsewhere get re directed to this area.

 

So yes, there will be some new revenue genreated becuase you can likely add on ome tax due to the proximity to the arena, but from a City perspective its a minimal gain becuase they lose the revenue from projects that would have taken place elsewhere and move it here. not to mention, until the arena is paid back they won't see any revenue from it at all.

 

having said that i do support the project and i do competely agree that the concept of fixing up the area is in itself a worthwile business venture. However, I disagree that what the Flames has propossed is a cash cow for the city and in fact i would probably argue the opposite right now.

 

I think your relocation stance is a valid one, but missing a couple of things.....

 

1 - land in the new area won't be cheap, resulting in higher leases for places like Shank's (to continue your example).  This will result in companies/groups that want to move to the new location to make *very* sure that they can afford it for themselves.

 

2 - if development gets moved to this new section of land from somewhere else pre-planned, that previous pre-planned area is then freed up for other new development.

 

3 - even if pre-planned development stays where it is, there will be no shortage of new companies/groups lining up to purchase sites in the new space.

 

Worst case scenario that I see in all of this (strictly from a who's-gonna-occupy-the-space viewpoint) is that we end up with another Eau Claire section of town.  Eau Claire, in its heyday, was a vibrant, family-friendly area to be in: main access to Prince's Island, Granville Island-esque street entertainment, varied and vibrant stores in the mall, even the Hard Rock Cafe (during the day) contributed to the family friendly atmosphere.  When "the money" started buying up the condos surrounding Eau Claire, and started complaining about the noise, the area started a long, agonizing slide into nothingness.  I still feel sad for what we lost in that area.

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I think your relocation stance is a valid one, but missing a couple of things.....

 

1 - land in the new area won't be cheap, resulting in higher leases for places like Shank's (to continue your example).  This will result in companies/groups that want to move to the new location to make *very* sure that they can afford it for themselves.

 

2 - if development gets moved to this new section of land from somewhere else pre-planned, that previous pre-planned area is then freed up for other new development.

 

3 - even if pre-planned development stays where it is, there will be no shortage of new companies/groups lining up to purchase sites in the new space.

 

Worst case scenario that I see in all of this (strictly from a who's-gonna-occupy-the-space viewpoint) is that we end up with another Eau Claire section of town.  Eau Claire, in its heyday, was a vibrant, family-friendly area to be in: main access to Prince's Island, Granville Island-esque street entertainment, varied and vibrant stores in the mall, even the Hard Rock Cafe (during the day) contributed to the family friendly atmosphere.  When "the money" started buying up the condos surrounding Eau Claire, and started complaining about the noise, the area started a long, agonizing slide into nothingness.  I still feel sad for what we lost in that area.

 

I guess to summarize what i was saying is that i think people are assuming that the surrounding land will increase growth within Calgary and create all these new dollars and i don't agree with that. Aboslutly yes, there will be some new dollars created but I don't think at the level people are expecting because you can only grow as fast as money is available so i don't agree that by opening up this space that it will exponentially increase Calgary's overal growth needed to view the dollars created as "new" dollars. i think a vast majority of the money collected by taxes in this area will be net dollars and not "new" dollars, if that makes more sense. I don't doubt it will help pay for it, but I don't agree it till be a "cash cow". i think it would lead the city have to re allocate dollars elsehwere.

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I guess to summarize what i was saying is that i think people are assuming that the surrounding land will increase growth within Calgary and create all these new dollars and i don't agree with that. Aboslutly yes, there will be some new dollars created but I don't think at the level people are expecting because you can only grow as fast as money is available so i don't agree that by opening up this space that it will exponentially increase Calgary's overal growth needed to view the dollars created as "new" dollars. i think a vast majority of the money collected by taxes in this area will be net dollars and not "new" dollars, if that makes more sense. I don't doubt it will help pay for it, but I don't agree it till be a "cash cow". i think it would lead the city have to re allocate dollars elsehwere.

 

I agree with your "not gonna be a cash cow" statement.  However, when it comes to the other stuff (and this is not directed at you specifically, cross), try to think of it this way.....

 

Look at what East Village once was.  A very poor, run-down area of Calgary that was in desperate need of an overhaul.  It's being rebuilt, and looking good in the process.  Now, will the majority of Calgarians see a benefit from the renovations?  Probably not.  But the City Revitalization Levy (CRL) was created for this exact purpose.

 

Now that the East Village is stable, it's time to look elsewhere, and West Village is apparently making a bid to be the next in line.  East Village will see things like the new King Eddie, the National Music Centre, the new library, and various other cultural venues.  West Village is vying to be kind of the same thing, but instead of culture things, it's being devoted to sports and athletic things.

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I agree with your "not gonna be a cash cow" statement.  However, when it comes to the other stuff (and this is not directed at you specifically, cross), try to think of it this way.....

 

Look at what East Village once was.  A very poor, run-down area of Calgary that was in desperate need of an overhaul.  It's being rebuilt, and looking good in the process.  Now, will the majority of Calgarians see a benefit from the renovations?  Probably not.  But the City Revitalization Levy (CRL) was created for this exact purpose.

 

Now that the East Village is stable, it's time to look elsewhere, and West Village is apparently making a bid to be the next in line.  East Village will see things like the new King Eddie, the National Music Centre, the new library, and various other cultural venues.  West Village is vying to be kind of the same thing, but instead of culture things, it's being devoted to sports and athletic things.

 

 

And don't get me wrong I am fully behind this project and want to see it done. My only point is that let's not let the Flames off the hook here and praise them for suggesting an idea that won't affect tax payers because it will. The CRL does not remove the tax burden off the city or the taxpayer its jsut a fancy way of asking for city help. I think the CRL will be a tax burden on the city that is all i'm saying.

 

I think this project is going to be great for the city and i agree civic dollars need to and should go to it. All i'm saying is that i think the burden on the taxpayer right now is too high and is much higher then the Flames are letting one. I'm fine with that becuase as i said this is just an intial proposal but I think it needs to be reworked with less burden on the tax payer and some more money coming from the Flames or non tax generated sources.

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i think this is the key point though that needs to be addressed becuase i disagree with the notion that it will be a "cash cow". yes there will be future development in the area but that will come form business who probably already had plans to devleop anyway they jsut move their location. For example, let's say Shanks wants a piece of the action and wants a bar in that area. Do you think they would open up a brand new location and run 3 locations or would they close one and move it to that area? for companies that are likely going to want to look into building condo's in the area do you think they are going to get the idea to do so only becuase there is an arena, or will they take pre exising plans and move them to that location becuase of the proximity? Basically what i'm saying is that i think assuming that the arena will lead to actual tangible growth is misealding IMO. i think what i more likely to happen is for the net growth to actually be quite small becuse you will see development that would have taken place elsewhere get re directed to this area.

 

So yes, there will be some new revenue genreated becuase you can likely add on ome tax due to the proximity to the arena, but from a City perspective its a minimal gain becuase they lose the revenue from projects that would have taken place elsewhere and move it here. not to mention, until the arena is paid back they won't see any revenue from it at all.

 

having said that i do support the project and i do competely agree that the concept of fixing up the area is in itself a worthwile business venture. However, I disagree that what the Flames has propossed is a cash cow for the city and in fact i would probably argue the opposite right now.

 

The tax dollars generated by the city from these 2 car lots and a Grey Hound Station over the next 100 years on this DT prime river front property probably doesn’t even cover the costs required to monitor the subsurface contamination.  In 100 years’ time the land will still be contaminated and worthless.

 

6a55d1b238c73f1c57f8c6505b5200c8.jpg

 

 

In a concept similar to the one below, the tax dollars generated by the city over the next 100 years is anyone’s guess.  In this scenario the land is recyclable, meaning demolition and re-development can occur with changing times.

 

 

7ec669110197f1c124c01cbd2cd86db7.png

 

 

I cannot concept the amount of money the city could generate from a fully developed West Village.  If you look at just the LRT, imagine how many people a day would be paying $3 per ticket for an LRT trip going to and from the area while living, working and playing?  Twenty years ago you could ride the transit for less than a buck, how much will it cost 20 yrs from now?

 

I agree that some businesses will relocate to the West Village, leaving behind their old buildings.  But the older abandoned building will continue to generate tax dollars for the city and provide opportunity for other businesses looking for cheaper rent.

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It invites infrastructure for sure, business skyrockets to invest in the area.

I don't see a lose for the city. You want to rebuild the west end? It only starts with this, the city core will expand with it.

But I have to say, the complex is some kind of ugly. It can be done with far more appeal than two giant plexiglass looking monstrosities.

Don't build gaudy crap.

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I might have to change my allegiance with this dome... 


The thing about it is, there's actually very little detail in what the building looks like other than red siding and the look of some kid's science project. 

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I personally think the Flames are out to lunch of the financing of this. In reality they are asking for around 2 billion of public financing, 500mil to 1 billion for the cleanup, 660mil for the building itself and around another billion or more for infrastructure upgrades. Now that big private money is involved I do not see the provincial or federal government get involved in the cleanup. 

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I personally think the Flames are out to lunch of the financing of this. In reality they are asking for around 2 billion of public financing, 500mil to 1 billion for the cleanup, 660mil for the building itself and around another billion or more for infrastructure upgrades. Now that big private money is involved I do not see the provincial or federal government get involved in the cleanup. 

Notwithstanding your numbers on the clean-up are likely way, way out to lunch, the Flames aren't asking for money there as its going to be a public clean-up no matter what happens.  Their proposal is a catalyst for the governments to get off their butts and get moving, before all the pollution enters the Bow River.

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I cannot concept the amount of money the city could generate from a fully developed West Village.  If you look at just the LRT, imagine how many people a day would be paying $3 per ticket for an LRT trip going to and from the area while living, working and playing?  Twenty years ago you could ride the transit for less than a buck, how much will it cost 20 yrs from now?

 

I agree that some businesses will relocate to the West Village, leaving behind their old buildings.  But the older abandoned building will continue to generate tax dollars for the city and provide opportunity for other businesses looking for cheaper rent.

 

Bu you are assuming that by open up the West Village it will add to Calgary's overal growth and i dont' agree. I think Calgary's overal growth will be the same it will just open up new land to move projects too. The net benefit to Calgary is not going to be nera as big as you think and certainly not enough to warrant the near 600-700 million the City will likely be asked to put into the project all said and done. Again keep in mine the City won't actually see a benefit at all to the West Village until the CRL pays the financing back.

 

here is an article that does a much better job explaining what i'm trying to say : http://www.taxpayer.com/commentaries/ab--revitalization-levy-sleight-of-hand

 

let me be clear on something though, I am NOT suggesting this is a bad project, shouldn't get done, or that it will be bad for the city. In fact I am saying the opposite i think this is great for the city, will get done, and i support the project.  What I am sayig is that the funding model likely won't work, and I would encourage people to look behind the financing model that King sold you. King made it seem like the burden on the tax payer would be minimal and I strongly disagree with that notion, that is the point i'm trying to mix. We ARE going to pay for the vast majority of this and the CRL is jsut a fancy sales trick to make us believe we won't. My argument is that the financing plan given by the Flames and King will need to be reworked with less emphasis on the tax payer IMO in order for this to get done.

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I would love to see my beloved Flames move into a state of the art facility like Calgary NEXT but I don't see this ever happening.  The cost of the site clean up as well as the amount of $$$ the Flames are asking from tax payers will kill this proposal.  

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The arena may not add all that much to the city's development long term, but it will accelerate the rate at which those projects get completed since there will be a catalyst to redevelop the west village sooner.

 

 

However, the money is going to be an issue. The Flames/Tickets are paying half the cost. the 200mil for the fieldhouse frm the city should be a given since that is included. Its the remaining 250mil that the flames will need to accept that they may have to pay for as well. 

 

 

It isn't realistic to include the infrastructure redesign and the creosote cost inthe arena cost though. No development will take place in the west village without that being done. The cost will only go up over time, and the city/province/tapayers will have to deal with it. Unless we want that to be a permanant car lot, then there's no choice.

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The arena may not add all that much to the city's development long term, but it will accelerate the rate at which those projects get completed since there will be a catalyst to redevelop the west village sooner.

 

 

However, the money is going to be an issue. The Flames/Tickets are paying half the cost. the 200mil for the fieldhouse frm the city should be a given since that is included. Its the remaining 250mil that the flames will need to accept that they may have to pay for as well. 

 

 

It isn't realistic to include the infrastructure redesign and the creosote cost inthe arena cost though. No development will take place in the west village without that being done. The cost will only go up over time, and the city/province/tapayers will have to deal with it. Unless we want that to be a permanant car lot, then there's no choice.

 

Detroit’s new arena is under construction and slated to open in 2017 with a price tag of $450M.  Edmonton’s new arean is under construction and slated to open in 2016 with a price tag of $480M.  The Flames have already offered to kick in $200M of their money for a public building.  You want to ask them to kick in another $250M?  If they did that they could go build a new area for themselves and say the heck with the city.  Let the city worry about their own fieldhouse, their own stadium and their contaminated land.

 

The Flames ownership and management are top notch people who have not only been successful in the business world but have given back largely to this community.  I believe they have taken the high road and considered all the needs this city has, and then attempted the impossible task of solving all the issues in one large project.    Has there been another ownership group in the NHL/CFL who has subsidized a city owned building with $200M?  This deal is about making the community better while watching our teams compete in modern day facilities.

 

Unfortunately, economics was not my calling.  At this point, I could not even pretend to understand this proposal and financial model in its entirety.  What I do have a certain level of confidence in is first impressions.  My impression of the CalgaryNext presentation and proposal is that two sides (City Aldermen and Flames ownership) have a common interest.  Behind the scenes, they appear to have been bouncing ideas off of one another, and over a period of time, creating a model (in its infancy) that when presented to the public would have a chance at success.

 

The discussion at least has now begun, I suspect that a detail or two will need ironed out before this proposal becomes a project.

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