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The Official Calgary Flames "New Arena" thread

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This was the statement that Nenhi made on Tuesday regarding the arena project...  

 

From :   http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/mayor-nenshis-statement-on-the-flames-arena-project

 

 

Today, the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (the company that owns the Calgary Flames and Stampeders, among other professional sports teams) released an intriguing proposal for a new arena, sports fieldhouse, and football stadium.

This project has been in the works for some time, and I am pleased that the Flames ownership group is now engaging the public on what they would like to see. I also appreciate that the ownership group has come forward with a definitive financial commitment — something that has rarely been seen in other cities.

However, there are a number of challenges that must now be addressed:

 The proposal has not been part of the City’s comprehensive capital planning process, and does not form part of the plan, under which the City’s capital funds are fully allocated through 2018;

 The proposal includes incorporating the City’s proposed (and much-needed) fieldhouse into the facility. However, that project, while a very high priority for the City, remains unfunded;

 The funding proposal includes a $250-million “ticket tax,” but it is unclear if the City will be asked to provide the upfront financing for this;

 The proposed site requires significant expenditures to remediate the environmental contamination there. That remediation is also unfunded;

 In addition, the proposal requires the contribution of land, a community revitalization levy and significant investments in infrastructure to make the West Village a complete and vibrant community.

Therefore, there are very significant requirements for public funding beyond the fieldhouse funding, and there is currently no money.

I have said for a long time — and continue to strongly believe — that public money must be for public benefit and not private profit. The question for council, the ownership group, and all Calgarians is whether this proposal meets that test.

That said, I truly appreciate the efforts of the ownership group in bringing forward an innovative project in a thoughtful, professional, and ethical way. I firmly believe that these Calgarians want to do something exceptional for our community.

City council will ensure that there is significant public engagement and will work co-operatively with the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and the other orders of government to determine whether this project is viable.

— Mayor Naheed Nenshi

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I would be for this but the life of these buildings is too short. If it was a commitment for a life time it is workable but these projects have a life of what 30 years. Plus I still like the Saddledome - lots of good memories there. Plus the design of it is cool. I know it is not ideally functional but it still is cool. 

 

The minute you finish one of these monster arenas it immediately starts to depreciate in value... 

 

The Flames were smart to pick this location though. A lot of us picked it as the spot. The plus is that it is environmental waste land that does need to be cleaned up at one point. So it is kind of a two birds with one stone project but who likes the public tax-payer money going to it... Especially that much. 

 

I love the Flames owners, way better than Katz but billionaires taking public money just can not sit well with many... 

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I would be for this but the life of these buildings is too short. If it was a commitment for a life time it is workable but these projects have a life of what 30 years. Plus I still like the Saddledome - lots of good memories there. Plus the design of it is cool. I know it is not ideally functional but it still is cool. 

 

The minute you finish one of these monster arenas it immediately starts to depreciate in value... 

 

The Flames were smart to pick this location though. A lot of us picked it as the spot. The plus is that it is environmental waste land that does need to be cleaned up at one point. So it is kind of a two birds with one stone project but who likes the public tax-payer money going to it... Especially that much. 

 

I love the Flames owners, way better than Katz but billionaires taking public money just can not sit well with many... 

You could say that about alot of projects around town to be quite honest. Ring roads are going to out live there life, overpasses will need repairs, schools might need improvements etc.

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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.

 

Yes and no.

 

Yes, it is tax dollars and a lot of it.

 

No, because the CRL can only be possible with a new arena.  No other enterprise/catalyst is going to develop that contaminated portion of land for use of any kind for the foreseeable future so therefore no arena means no CRL.  That's the argument King was trying to make.  Let's use the CRL that the arena generates to pay for the arena.  CRL is newfound money the city never had and doesn't budget into existence yet.  It's a clever way to conjure up financial resources and it shows a lot of business savy on the part of Flames ownership.

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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.

Except they arent. 5 years ago the cleanup was pegged at between 300-500mil, and that was before it was expanded due to the floods. Its now confirmed on the other side of the river. If its also under the riverbed it will be an engineering nightmare to cleanup, its not like you can just redirect the Bow at that point. And also its been examined and unless the levels within the Bow rise its acceptable just to leave it as is and have it dissipate on its own. 

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Except they arent. 5 years ago the cleanup was pegged at between 300-500mil, and that was before it was expanded due to the floods. Its now confirmed on the other side of the river. If its also under the riverbed it will be an engineering nightmare to cleanup, its not like you can just redirect the Bow at that point. And also its been examined and unless the levels within the Bow rise its acceptable just to leave it as is and have it dissipate on its own. 

Which has what kind of timeline?

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Something Eric Francis pointed out was that lost in a lot of the dialogue is how much the Flames, their players and staff give back to the community. How much do they donate and raise for charities?

And the energy they put in to visit and work charity events

I see it as a win-win, especially since the city will own them.

They could go off and do this on their own and the city sees nothing of the rewards in the long run...

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Yes and no.

 

Yes, it is tax dollars and a lot of it.

 

No, because the CRL can only be possible with a new arena.  No other enterprise/catalyst is going to develop that contaminated portion of land for use of any kind for the foreseeable future so therefore no arena means no CRL.  That's the argument King was trying to make.  Let's use the CRL that the arena generates to pay for the arena.  CRL is newfound money the city never had and doesn't budget into existence yet.  It's a clever way to conjure up financial resources and it shows a lot of business savy on the part of Flames ownership.

 

I disagree with that notion though Peeps. i don't agree that it is "newfound" money it's simply a redistribution of money.

 

I guess it depends on what you beieve/how optimistic you are about Calgary's growth but here is what I think/beleive. I'll use easy numbers that are not accurate/not to scale. let's say every year 1 billion gets spent on new delevelopment, ie condos, new restuarants etc that come in to calgary. What King is trying to make is us believe is that the development of an arena would make that number maybe 1.5 billion. I don't agree. I think the numbers would stay at around 1 billion becuase I don't think opening up that land is going to increase developement its just going to move projects from anothre location to this land. So when you see that it won't lead to more growth AND the fact that the city would actually not gain revenue from the CRL until the land is paid back essentially the City's budget stays where it is. with the needs in Calgary and the pressure for money in so many different area where do you think th emoney to keep growing the cities budget is going to come from?

 

I'm not saying the net benefit from the CRL would be exactly zero, I jsut don't believe it's going to be this massive cash cow for the city and erase the burden of tax payer commitment becuase again i don't believe that the CRL will increase already schedulded growth and therefore I don't think it will contain near as may "new" dollars as you think.

 

There are 2 discussions here though and I want to make my stance known on both becuase I don't want to come across as someone who does not want this built. Building it and paying for it are IMO two different disucssion. I love the idea of building it and I love the idea of cleaning up the land, and as a matter of fact even without the new arena I believe that land should be cleaned up. the 2nd part is paying for it and IMO right now what has been proposed is not a fair deal for the taxpayer IMO. My argument is the 2nd one, i am not suggesting this project is no good, i'm suggesting that the method they have proposed for paying for it is not good enough and IMO has been "sold" to us without all the facts really put on the table.

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Ok, so the Flames can build a 400M-500M on their own right now. Screw the city. The city still has to clean up the mess and the Flames will just sit idly by and watch. Go build where the land is ok. The city still has to fork over their 300-500M to clean up the proposed site. 


That's without the new arena's there. 

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Ok, so the Flames can build a 400M-500M on their own right now. Screw the city. The city still has to clean up the mess and the Flames will just sit idly by and watch. Go build where the land is ok. The city still has to fork over their 300-500M to clean up the proposed site. 

That's without the new arena's there. 

 

 

Probably not an option. Between finding "ok" land in a suitable location,being able to acquire that land from the city or owner AND then pay out of pocket to the tune of 400-500 million that i would be shocked if the Flames actually had i would say that's pretty unlikely. I dn't think the City would mind at all if the Flames wanted to build their own area they would still see the tax revenue from it without have having to put a dollar into it.

 

the Flames need the City's help, most clubs do. Its about getting a fair deal that works for both sides and hopefully the Flames and City can reach something. Not going to be easy though.

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I disagree with that notion though Peeps. i don't agree that it is "newfound" money it's simply a redistribution of money.

 

I guess it depends on what you beieve/how optimistic you are about Calgary's growth but here is what I think/beleive. I'll use easy numbers that are not accurate/not to scale. let's say every year 1 billion gets spent on new delevelopment, ie condos, new restuarants etc that come in to calgary. What King is trying to make is us believe is that the development of an arena would make that number maybe 1.5 billion. I don't agree. I think the numbers would stay at around 1 billion becuase I don't think opening up that land is going to increase developement its just going to move projects from anothre location to this land. So when you see that it won't lead to more growth AND the fact that the city would actually not gain revenue from the CRL until the land is paid back essentially the City's budget stays where it is. with the needs in Calgary and the pressure for money in so many different area where do you think th emoney to keep growing the cities budget is going to come from?

 

I'm not saying the net benefit from the CRL would be exactly zero, I jsut don't believe it's going to be this massive cash cow for the city and erase the burden of tax payer commitment becuase again i don't believe that the CRL will increase already schedulded growth and therefore I don't think it will contain near as may "new" dollars as you think.

 

There are 2 discussions here though and I want to make my stance known on both becuase I don't want to come across as someone who does not want this built. Building it and paying for it are IMO two different disucssion. I love the idea of building it and I love the idea of cleaning up the land, and as a matter of fact even without the new arena I believe that land should be cleaned up. the 2nd part is paying for it and IMO right now what has been proposed is not a fair deal for the taxpayer IMO. My argument is the 2nd one, i am not suggesting this project is no good, i'm suggesting that the method they have proposed for paying for it is not good enough and IMO has been "sold" to us without all the facts really put on the table.

 

If a condo developer builds in say, Victoria Park or the Beltline, then there is no CRL to be had.  This is because there is no community revitalization happening in those communities.  The levy would only be applied to the proposed area of Sunalta much like it's being applied to the East Village. 

 

So, while the city will only grow by say, $1-billion, the CRL is icing on the cake.  It's luring development away from non-taxable locations into the taxable location of Sunalta.  That CRL is "new" money.

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Could someone give me a link to what the proposed site contamination issue is. It would help in my mind who is responsible for the clean-up. Thnx

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If a condo developer builds in say, Victoria Park or the Beltline, then there is no CRL to be had.  This is because there is no community revitalization happening in those communities.  The levy would only be applied to the proposed area of Sunalta much like it's being applied to the East Village. 

 

So, while the city will only grow by say, $1-billion, the CRL is icing on the cake.  It's luring development away from non-taxable locations into the taxable location of Sunalta.  That CRL is "new" money.

 

Not sure I understan how you are arriving at this conclusion. how are the other locations not taxable? all locations in the city are taxable via property taxes, development fees etc etc. All the CRL is is financing. the CRL just taxes the money the city would normally get via property taxes etc and pays it against loan it takes out to build the arena. Loan is paid back, CRL goes away and during that time money that the city normally would have recevied via the same taxes goes against the loan, so i'm not following your logic here. The "new" money element is the CRL assumes that by developing the area propety taxes will increase relative to other areas in the city but as the article I linked earlier suggests that's not always the case.

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Not sure I understan how you are arriving at this conclusion. how are the other locations not taxable? all locations in the city are taxable via property taxes, development fees etc etc. All the CRL is is financing. the CRL just taxes the money the city would normally get via property taxes etc and pays it against loan it takes out to build the arena. Loan is paid back, CRL goes away and during that time money that the city normally would have recevied via the same taxes goes against the loan, so i'm not following your logic here. The "new" money element is the CRL assumes that by developing the area propety taxes will increase relative to other areas in the city but as the article I linked earlier suggests that's not always the case.

 

Sorry, i didn't mean taxable vs non-taxable but rather, CRL-able vs non-CRL-able.

 

What i understand of the levy is developers in an area designated with CRL will pay extra taxes on top of regular taxes.  So, therefore CRL is "extra" taxes and thus "new" money.

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Sorry, i didn't mean taxable vs non-taxable but rather, CRL-able vs non-CRL-able.

 

What i understand of the levy is developers in an area designated with CRL will pay extra taxes on top of regular taxes.  So, therefore CRL is "extra" taxes and thus "new" money.

 

Oh ok, that makes sense.

 

And maybe that's the debate that will need to get clarified becasue thats not my understanding. My understanding is that the just literally take all of the taxes that would normally go to the city and use it to pay back the financing given via the CRL. I understand it to be essentially borrowing against future tax revenue.

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Could someone give me a link to what the proposed site contamination issue is. It would help in my mind who is responsible for the clean-up. Thnx

 

Essentially, a company that used to treat railway ties and electricity poles with creosote (essentially a wood preservation chemical).  Over almost 40 years, this chemical was used in what is now the West Village by a company named Creosote Canada.  Lots of this chemical spilled onto the land, and was never cleaned up.  Creosote Canada was sold, and the new company went out of business a few years later, leaving the Province and City with nobody to force to clean up the mess.

 

As I understand it (I think I heard this on a follow-up news report once CalgaryNEXT was pitched), the Province is responsible (re: liable) for what the creosote ends up doing to the environment, but the moment the City starts to do something about it, the City then becomes responsible (re: liable) for anything that happens.

 

 

Light reading: http://www.calgarysun.com/2015/08/19/calgarynexts-first-hurdle-is-creosote-cleanup-in-west-village

 

Mid-level reading: http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/creosote-contamination-at-proposed-arena-site-to-be-studied

 

Insomnia cure: http://environment.gov.ab.ca/info/library/5693.pdf

 

Hope this helps, redfire (and anyone else)

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Except they arent. 5 years ago the cleanup was pegged at between 300-500mil, and that was before it was expanded due to the floods. Its now confirmed on the other side of the river. If its also under the riverbed it will be an engineering nightmare to cleanup, its not like you can just redirect the Bow at that point. And also its been examined and unless the levels within the Bow rise its acceptable just to leave it as is and have it dissipate on its own. 

 

It's been under the riverbed and on the North side for the last 15 years....the flood was an excuse to make that information public.

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Thought I would give this a bump with this article. Last I heard a study is going to start in April that is going to finally put a dollar amount on how much its going to cost to remediate the land but based on what Nenshi is saying here it doens't look good.

 

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/early-analysis-suggests-revitalization-levy-in-west-village-wont-balance-says-nenshi

 

Long story short, I don't think we should hold our breath that the proposal the Flames put forward will fly. I've talked to more than a few people around town and the buzz is that the Flames are out to lunch. 

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Thought I would give this a bump with this article. Last I heard a study is going to start in April that is going to finally put a dollar amount on how much its going to cost to remediate the land but based on what Nenshi is saying here it doens't look good.

 

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/early-analysis-suggests-revitalization-levy-in-west-village-wont-balance-says-nenshi

 

Long story short, I don't think we should hold our breath that the proposal the Flames put forward will fly. I've talked to more than a few people around town and the buzz is that the Flames are out to lunch. 

They couldn't be asking at a worse time given our economic and political situation. To be honest I hate that location and I don't think they should combine both hockey and football under one roof.

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Thought I would give this a bump with this article. Last I heard a study is going to start in April that is going to finally put a dollar amount on how much its going to cost to remediate the land but based on what Nenshi is saying here it doens't look good.

 

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/early-analysis-suggests-revitalization-levy-in-west-village-wont-balance-says-nenshi

 

Long story short, I don't think we should hold our breath that the proposal the Flames put forward will fly. I've talked to more than a few people around town and the buzz is that the Flames are out to lunch. 

I disagree with you. I suspect that the Flames will get a new arena and there will be public dollars sunk into it one way or the other. Ever wonder why Nenshi is in favour of the Winter Olympics coming to Calgary? They will not be able to use existing facilities if their bid is successful. 

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I'm not saying they won't get it, i'm saying that what they have proposed won't fly and most business people i've spoken with think they are out to lunch with what they proposed. 

 

They'll get it, but I think it may be a different proposal all together or if its the same one the Flames are likely going to have to kick in a lot more of the funds for it. 

 

Nenshi is in favor of the Olympics becuase he knows if they got the Olympic there would be a bunch of Federal and Provincial dollars flowing in for his city. He doesn't like this proposal because he knows he has to spend part of his own budget to do it and isn't going to get any help. 

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Ah, I see your position cross. I misinterpreted your thoughts on the matter. 

 

ETA: In the end, I hope that the new facility will truly benefit the average person in the city. Assuming public dollars will go into this venture, it would be really nice if many Calgarians use the facility. After all, it is a multi-function facility. The provincial government will have to eventually clean up the area. I sure would like to know how the previous owner(s) managed to get away without having to take responsibility for that mess.

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Thought I would give this a bump with this article. Last I heard a study is going to start in April that is going to finally put a dollar amount on how much its going to cost to remediate the land but based on what Nenshi is saying here it doens't look good.

 

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/early-analysis-suggests-revitalization-levy-in-west-village-wont-balance-says-nenshi

 

Long story short, I don't think we should hold our breath that the proposal the Flames put forward will fly. I've talked to more than a few people around town and the buzz is that the Flames are out to lunch. 

They couldn't be asking at a worse time given our economic and political situation. To be honest I hate that location and I don't think they should combine both hockey and football under one roof.

 

If Rachel Notley cares about the environment, then she will clean up the creosote.  Right?  Borrow and spend man. Do it the NDP way.

 

Not to mention, this project would be a great way to put locals back to work and invest in the local economy.

 

What's the procedure for cleaning up creosote?  With the railroad adjacent to the hazardous zone, I'm thinking just mass dig the stuff out, fill railcars with it, send the railcars to the west coast, send the stuff to China, and then let China bury it somewhere in China.  That can't possible cost more than $50-million in total.  Heck, put it in the Greyhound buses and put the whole bus on the boat and wave it goodbye.

 

Are we talking like, we have to build a giant retaining wall along the river before/when we dig?  Are we talking about potential leakage into the river during clean-up?  Does the stuff vapourize into the air once it leaves the ground?  Does 100% of the hazardous material have to be removed or can we work with 95% removed?  So many questions.

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With the railroad adjacent to the hazardous zone, I'm thinking just mass dig the stuff out, fill railcars with it, send the railcars to the west coast, send the stuff to China, and then let China bury it somewhere in China.  That can't possible cost more than $50-million in total. 

:lol: Or we could send the stuff to Vancouver...Edmonton...or Toronto! Lots of choices.

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