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The Official Calgary Flames "New Arena" thread

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After the Montreal Olympic Stadium debacle, the city of Toronto decided to build SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) in the late 1980s. A public-private partnership was established in which 28 companies each paid $5 million totalling $140 million. The Ontario provincial government was responsible for the rest of the debt and the stadium was supposed to cost $180 million. It was also expected to make a profit. By opening day, however, the real cost of the stadium was $600 million (about $1 billion 2016 dollars) and debt payments significantly exceeded annual stadium income. Because the provincial government's debt continually increased, they ultimately paid out $400 million and then sold the stadium to a group of investors for $151 million. In the end, Rogers Communications bought out the stadium for just $25 million. That represents only 4% of total construction costs. Part of the reason construction costs were so high was that the soil upon which the stadium was built had been contaminated due to long-term industrial use. As well, because a major railway was just south of its location, infrastructure costs were significantly higher than expected.

 

I do not believe the City of Calgary can afford this project by far. It is like asking me to pay for a new C-Train station. Other levels of government must pay for this to happen. I am confused as to why Bettman is even talking to Nenshi at all.

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After the Montreal Olympic Stadium debacle, the city of Toronto decided to build SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) in the late 1980s. A public-private partnership was established in which 28 companies each paid $5 million totalling $140 million. The Ontario provincial government was responsible for the rest of the debt and the stadium was supposed to cost $180 million. It was also expected to make a profit. By opening day, however, the real cost of the stadium was $600 million (about $1 billion 2016 dollars) and debt payments significantly exceeded annual stadium income. Because the provincial government's debt continually increased, they ultimately paid out $400 million and then sold the stadium to a group of investors for $151 million. In the end, Rogers Communications bought out the stadium for just $25 million. That represents only 4% of total construction costs. Part of the reason construction costs were so high was that the soil upon which the stadium was built had been contaminated due to long-term industrial use. As well, because a major railway was just south of its location, infrastructure costs were significantly higher than expected.

 

I do not believe the City of Calgary can afford this project by far. It is like asking me to pay for a new C-Train station. Other levels of government must pay for this to happen. I am confused as to why Bettman is even talking to Nenshi at all.

 

LIke any CEO its his job to move his business forward and create more opporutnity. New arena means move revenue for the Flames and now due to revenue sharing, more Flames $ equals more NHL $. He is part of the Flames PR campagin to build up public interest and put pressure on City council to write them a cheque. 

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If the city assumes a financial debt here, it had better be limited. That is, the Flames/NHL become clearly responsible for any and all cost overruns.

 

ETA: According to Wikipedia, the Saddledome was supposed to cost $60 million and ended up costing $80 million. If correct, the absolute dollars may be small, but the overrun is significant relative to the original expected cost.

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After the Montreal Olympic Stadium debacle, the city of Toronto decided to build SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) in the late 1980s. A public-private partnership was established in which 28 companies each paid $5 million totalling $140 million. The Ontario provincial government was responsible for the rest of the debt and the stadium was supposed to cost $180 million. It was also expected to make a profit. By opening day, however, the real cost of the stadium was $600 million (about $1 billion 2016 dollars) and debt payments significantly exceeded annual stadium income. Because the provincial government's debt continually increased, they ultimately paid out $400 million and then sold the stadium to a group of investors for $151 million. In the end, Rogers Communications bought out the stadium for just $25 million. That represents only 4% of total construction costs. Part of the reason construction costs were so high was that the soil upon which the stadium was built had been contaminated due to long-term industrial use. As well, because a major railway was just south of its location, infrastructure costs were significantly higher than expected.

 

I do not believe the City of Calgary can afford this project by far. It is like asking me to pay for a new C-Train station. Other levels of government must pay for this to happen. I am confused as to why Bettman is even talking to Nenshi at all.

City government is the most affected by an arena. City should be a part of it with funding and some revenues. As for the timing it is a bit odd that the Flames have started to roll out the marketing machine already. I said a long time ago Ken King was jerking around Calgarian's on a new arena. We are waiting to see how Edmonton's arena turns out, No news, I'll have news in two week and nothing for months, years now until this.

 

City of Edmonton is putting up 279million of the 606 million of the projects costs. The also get to protect their interests with ownership of the building and land.  Oiler's get rights to operate the building under complicated leases. All this stuff used to go through Northland's for the City but it appears they have cut out a middleman of sorts.

http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/projects_redevelopment/downtown-arena.aspx

Outside Construction Cam

Inside Construction Cam

 

I doubt you will see the Flames wanting to give up ownership here.

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If the city assumes a financial debt here, it had better be limited. That is, the Flames/NHL become clearly responsible for any and all cost overruns.

 

ETA: According to Wikipedia, the Saddledome was supposed to cost $60 million and ended up costing $80 million. If correct, the absolute dollars may be small, but the overrun is significant relative to the original expected cost.

Overruns for the Saddledome were because of a time commitment to which there could be no delay in its use. This is not a fair statement to compare Saddledome to any new arena. The Rogers Arena is on time and on budget. The fines to companies for  overruns are huge, built into the contract and prevent that type of bidding well in most cases...

 

Stoney Trail time Overrun laying pavement was some 51 days behind schedule and cost $75,000 / day in fines.

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City government is the most affected by an arena. City should be a part of it with funding and some revenues. As for the timing it is a bit odd that the Flames have started to roll out the marketing machine already. I said a long time ago Ken King was jerking around Calgarian's on a new arena. We are waiting to see how Edmonton's arena turns out, No news, I'll have news in two week and nothing for months, years now until this.

 

City of Edmonton is putting up 279million of the 606 million of the projects costs. The also get to protect their interests with ownership of the building and land.  Oiler's get rights to operate the building under complicated leases. All this stuff used to go through Northland's for the City but it appears they have cut out a middleman of sorts.

http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/projects_redevelopment/downtown-arena.aspx

Outside Construction Cam

Inside Construction Cam

 

I doubt you will see the Flames wanting to give up ownership here.

 

They've already confirmed as part of the proposal that the City will own the structure and Flames will lease from them. 

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City of Edmonton is putting up 279million of the 606 million of the projects costs. 

True, but an important aspect of this figure is missing. The portion (possibly all?) of money provided by the City of Edmonton initially came from the federal government when they were giving out infrastructure cash to cities. That was a one time hand out. While other cities built fire stations, bridges, and police stations, Edmonton put it towards a new arena. My point is that this is a lot of money for any city to deal with.

 

Annual property tax revenues in this city are about $1.3-$1.4 billion. The overall revenue generated by the city is around $3.2 billion. The expense for the city is not that far off a mortgage for an individual (my mortgage is currently about 2.7 times my annual salary). Is any sports team worth that? I think that is the central question that concerns people. 

 

I would really like to know definitively how much this proposed stadium is expected to cost the city. Then, I want to know exactly how much my already high property taxes will be raised. I buy decent tickets to Flames games about once every two years because I cannot currently afford more than that. While I think Nenshi could have dealt with this better, it was inappropriate for Bettman to come down from the heavens and demand an unplanned meeting with him with nothing new to discuss.

 

ETA: I also buy nose bleeders about two times a year. I also pay for tix for my wife.

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Nenshi has stated that he would like to see the Winter Olympics back in Calgary.

 

This could be part of a ploy for federal funding.

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True, but an important aspect of this figure is missing. The portion (possibly all?) of money provided by the City of Edmonton initially came from the federal government when they were giving out infrastructure cash to cities. That was a one time hand out. While other cities built fire stations, bridges, and police stations, Edmonton put it towards a new arena. My point is that this is a lot of money for any city to deal with.

 

Annual property tax revenues in this city are about $1.3-$1.4 billion. The overall revenue generated by the city is around $3.2 billion. The expense for the city is not that far off a mortgage for an individual (my mortgage is currently about 2.7 times my annual salary). Is any sports team worth that? I think that is the central question that concerns people. 

 

I would really like to know definitively how much this proposed stadium is expected to cost the city. Then, I want to know exactly how much my already high property taxes will be raised. I buy decent tickets to Flames games about once every two years because I cannot currently afford more than that. While I think Nenshi could have dealt with this better, it was inappropriate for Bettman to come down from the heavens and demand an unplanned meeting with him with nothing new to discuss.

 

ETA: I also buy nose bleeders about two times a year. I also pay for tix for my wife.

You have right to ask questions and the Mayor claims the public will have a chance to voice their opinions. My guess is from this stand he has taken now is he will wash his responsibility and just put it to vote during an elections if talks turn sour or political/public pressure sways against him.

 

There is no reason to believe the NDP provincial and the Liberal Federal Government won't give funding here too. NDP love to fund public projects and the Liberals have a long history of funding their cronies with big projects like this. The money Edmonton got wasn't the first economy/job creating funding and won't be the last

 

A couple flaws in your reasoning though... It is not just one sports team. This project encompasses most sports in Calgary with the inclusion of the state of the art Field House. It doesn't stop and just the Flames it includes all the teams under the Flames Calgary ownership like Stampeders too, Hitman, Roughnecks  etc. and it will have supposed easy access for training like field events.

 

Go have a look at Vancouver and tell me property taxes are to high in Calgary. Taxes are now based on land/property value. Last time they went down to any degree was 1981. I can almost guarantee your house value will go up as will your city taxes with our without this arena deal..

 

Lets not go to the possible US financial collapse thingy here.

 

If you are going to reap the benefit of higher house values when you decide to sell then please don't complain about the high cost of taxes. You can always sell, get out and lease/rent too. No taxes, Just a lease payment. let your landlord cover all the repairs and that stuff.

 

I have been paying my mortgage for 15 years now, it doesn't seem so bad now and the taxes are meh..... my house value has more than doubled but not my taxes. I'm not in Calgary though.

 

I don't want to appear like I am opening hostile debate with you I'm not.  But I think the Flames almost did yesterday with the media and reports as it appeared.

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You have right to ask questions and the Mayor claims the public will have a chance to voice their opinions. My guess is from this stand he has taken now is he will wash his responsibility and just put it to vote during an elections.

 

There is no reason to believe the NDP provincial and the Liberal Federal Government won't give funding here too. NDP love to fund public projects and the Liberals have a long history of funding their cronies with big projects like this. The money Edmonton got wasn't the first economy/job creating funding and won't be the last

 

A couple flaws in your reasoning though... It is not just one sports team. This project encompasses most sports in Calgary with the inclusion of the state of the art Field House. It doesn't stop and just the Flames it includes all the teams under the Flames Calgary ownership like Stampeders too, Hitman, Roughnecks  etc. and it will have supposed easy access for training like field events.

 

Go have a look at Vancouver and tell me property taxes are to high in Calgary. Taxes are now based on land/property value. Last time they went down to any degree was 1981. I can almost guarantee your house value will go up as will your city taxes with our without this arena deal..

 

Lets not go to the possible US financial collapse thingy here.

 

If you are going to reap the benefit of higher house values when you decide to sell then please don't complain about the high cost of taxes. You can always sell, get out and lease/rent too. No taxes, Just a lease payment. let your landlord cover all the repairs and that stuff.

 

I have been paying my mortgage for 15 years now, it doesn't seem so bad now and the taxes are meh..... my house value has more than doubled but not my taxes. I'm not in Calgary though.

 

I don't want to appear like I am opening hostile debate with you I'm not.  But I think the Flames almost did yesterday with the media and reports as it appeared.

Don't worry about the hostile debate angle Deeds. You have been very respectful and I rather like serious debates. Likewise, I do not mean any disrespect. I will note a few flaws with your logic. Vancouver housing taxes are not comparable because there is absolutely no way I could ever hope to own a home there. I think I would need two lifetimes of work to do so. I thought it was stupid expensive there in the 1990s. I owned a home just outside Calgary and have found living here much more expensive. I just could not handle the drive into the city. Having said that, you are likely correct about real estate values long term.

 

I will seriously balk at your NDP logic. Do you really think that an NDP government is going to give this kind of cash to big business? The NDP might like big government projects in the public's interest, but they are not excited about building something that largely benefits a private investor. There might be an angle here that I am missing, but at this point, I think it more likely for pigs to fly into space and build the next space station. 

 

I believe a new arena is about "when" rather than "if" and how much various levels of government will pay. I think an Olympic bid is the most likely scenario. I think an important topic for debate is how to measure the impact and importance of a private sports franchise(s) to a city. I don't know how you measure that.

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Tinfoil hat time,

  • Worley Parsons is evaluating the cost required to do the clean-up of creosote in the area and the Flames have an inside scoop on the report due out no later than April 30, 2016.  My hunch is, it's not looking pretty for the CalgaryNEXT project as a whole. 
  • Thus, Bettman has been invited into the conversation as a pre-emptive strike against Nenshi who plans to use the report as a legit excuse to veto the project.
  • Bettman and the Flames will continue to paint Nenshi with a bad brush to either pressure him to say 'yes' despite the report or drag him down to their level so he will lose the next civic election.  In which case, they install their puppet mayor who will say 'yes' to everything they want.

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I will seriously balk at your NDP logic. Do you really think that an NDP government is going to give this kind of cash to big business? The NDP might like big government projects in the public's interest, but they are not excited about building something that largely benefits a private investor. There might be an angle here that I am missing, but at this point, I think it more likely for pigs to fly into space and build the next space station. 

 

One angle you may be missing is that the NDP is proud of their environmental record and with a large part of this project centered around toxic chemicals potentially leeching into the Bow river, there is reason to believe the NDP would step in and clean-up the area.

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Don't worry about the hostile debate angle Deeds. You have been very respectful and I rather like serious debates. Likewise, I do not mean any disrespect. I will note a few flaws with your logic. Vancouver housing taxes are not comparable because there is absolutely no way I could ever hope to own a home there. I think I would need two lifetimes of work to do so. I thought it was stupid expensive there in the 1990s. I owned a home just outside Calgary and have found living here much more expensive. I just could not handle the drive into the city. Having said that, you are likely correct about real estate values long term.

 

I will seriously balk at your NDP logic. Do you really think that an NDP government is going to give this kind of cash to big business? The NDP might like big government projects in the public's interest, but they are not excited about building something that largely benefits a private investor. There might be an angle here that I am missing, but at this point, I think it more likely for pigs to fly into space and build the next space station. 

 

I believe a new arena is about "when" rather than "if" and how much various levels of government will pay. I think an Olympic bid is the most likely scenario. I think an important topic for debate is how to measure the impact and importance of a private sports franchise(s) to a city. I don't know how you measure that.

If Calgary wishes to be considered among the worlds best metropolis's then it has to have World Class facilities. ,For example, Hockey Arenas and enclosed Stadiumsare very useful for attracting high profile music to the city. Now think the other way when your rink is too small, doesn't hold enough to warrant the Stones final final reunion tour......  If planned right with convention facilities then you will get all sorts of stuff like Shriners Conventions, and Billy Graham like crusades..

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Tinfoil hat time,

  • Worley Parsons is evaluating the cost required to do the clean-up of creosote in the area and the Flames have an inside scoop on the report due out no later than April 30, 2016.  My hunch is, it's not looking pretty for the CalgaryNEXT project as a whole. 
  • Thus, Bettman has been invited into the conversation as a pre-emptive strike against Nenshi who plans to use the report as a legit excuse to veto the project.
  • Bettman and the Flames will continue to paint Nenshi with a bad brush to either pressure him to say 'yes' despite the report or drag him down to their level so he will lose the next civic election.  In which case, they install their puppet mayor who will say 'yes' to everything they want.

 

Well Ken King is a marketing man. I am almost positive there is more going on last night than just trying to keep this subject on Calgary's "Hot list" until the surveys and cost analysis work is done.

 

As for destroying the Mayor if he does not co-operate, all he has to do is turn the issue to vote by the citizens. Give them the numbers and ask do you want it?

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One angle you may be missing is that the NDP is proud of their environmental record and with a large part of this project centered around toxic chemicals potentially leeching into the Bow river, there is reason to believe the NDP would step in and clean-up the area.

 

 

Agree to a point, but keep in mind the NDP has already said they are going to have to delay certain projects and infastructure funding programs because they were out to lunch on their projections for Oil. So while yes they have claimed they want to be environmentally friendly they've also promised they won't exceed certain spending limits and commitments and given they are going to delay some I can't imagine where a few hundred million are lying around to give to a private enterprise. 

 

What they could do is cancel the 178$ million dollar corporate giveaway that is the job creation tax credit and then funnel into a project such as this that would probably be more successful of creating net new jobs than that program is going to be. As I typed this, this hit the Herald that every project and spending commitment will be reviewed by NDP

 

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/alberta-politics/every+project+table+alberta+2016+budget+prices+continue/11646946/story.html

 

Safe to say you can peg the chances of getting a dollar out of the NDP as close to zero as you feel comfortable doing so. Ken King waiting on this project for as long as he did is likely going to cost the Flames big becuase I can't see any level of governemtn anxious to hand over money or sell this to voters in the next year. I think they are either going to have to kick in alot more money or wait for things to rebound. 

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They should have marketed this while Redford was Premier. As long as they made a special luxury box for her and her friends, it was a sure thing.

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Well, regardless of whether you're for or against the project, I think we can all agree that having the pretty much universally disliked (especially among Canadian fans) Bettman come and make a pitch for the project was a terrible idea and a bit of a head-scratcher. If anything, I think there would be less will among Calgary taxpayers to stump up money for the project now.

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How do we measure the amount of money the city of Calgary will make from building Stoney Trail?  How long would it take for the city to break even on the Stoney Trail project?  There are also a lot of people living in Calgary who do not use Stoney Trail, ever.  So is it fair their tax dollars go towards building the ring road?  Most people who use Stoney Tr only use a fraction of it, like on from one ramp and then off the next.  They have to pay the full amount.  There are also a lot of trucking/shipping companies that use Stoney Tr to pass through Calgary.  They're not even from Calgary and they pay nothing for using the road.

 

Lastly, there are billionaires who use Stoney Trail.  Should billionaires be required to build their own roads instead?

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Well, regardless of whether you're for or against the project, I think we can all agree that having the pretty much universally disliked (especially among Canadian fans) Bettman come and make a pitch for the project was a terrible idea and a bit of a head-scratcher. If anything, I think there would be less will among Calgary taxpayers to stump up money for the project now.

 

I know what you mean.

 

Which makes me believe the report due out no later than April 30, 2016 is not going in the Flames favour.  If it was going smoothly, then there's no reason to bring in a character who has horrible rapport with the Canadian community to present a case for a new arena and making little drive-by threats along the way.  It's a bad move and very counter-productive.  It's so bad that it's hard to tell if it's desperation or if it's a clever and deliberate move to setup their next step.

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Well Ken King is a marketing man. I am almost positive there is more going on last night than just trying to keep this subject on Calgary's "Hot list" until the surveys and cost analysis work is done.

 

As for destroying the Mayor if he does not co-operate, all he has to do is turn the issue to vote by the citizens. Give them the numbers and ask do you want it?

 

I'm sure Nenshi can put the issue to vote by the citizens of Calgary but some money has to come from the province so will Notley also put the issue to vote by all citizens of Alberta?  I don't think Nenshi can dodge responsibilities that easily.

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How do we measure the amount of money the city of Calgary will make from building Stoney Trail?  How long would it take for the city to break even on the Stoney Trail project?  There are also a lot of people living in Calgary who do not use Stoney Trail, ever.  So is it fair their tax dollars go towards building the ring road?  Most people who use Stoney Tr only use a fraction of it, like on from one ramp and then off the next.  They have to pay the full amount.  There are also a lot of trucking/shipping companies that use Stoney Tr to pass through Calgary.  They're not even from Calgary and they pay nothing for using the road.

 

Lastly, there are billionaires who use Stoney Trail.  Should billionaires be required to build their own roads instead?

 

You don’t make money from building roads, unless it is a toll road.  Stoney is not a toll highway and it will never make the city a dime.  A city without major, smooth flowing arteries is like an unfit individual with high blood cholesterol.  A health city is one that moves traffic.

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How do we measure the amount of money the city of Calgary will make from building Stoney Trail?  How long would it take for the city to break even on the Stoney Trail project?  There are also a lot of people living in Calgary who do not use Stoney Trail, ever.  So is it fair their tax dollars go towards building the ring road?  Most people who use Stoney Tr only use a fraction of it, like on from one ramp and then off the next.  They have to pay the full amount.  There are also a lot of trucking/shipping companies that use Stoney Tr to pass through Calgary.  They're not even from Calgary and they pay nothing for using the road.

 

Lastly, there are billionaires who use Stoney Trail.  Should billionaires be required to build their own roads instead?

 

I agree with your premise that you should not measure a government or governement projects based on a ROI or how much $ they are going to make off of it. Stoney is a good example as if the new library. I would wager tha less than 40% of Calgarians will use to new library at 170Million plus the city is spending on it so looking at it form a strict ROI perspective its not a great investment but that doens't mean it shoudn't be built. As Cheers just said a goal of any city has to be to provide the highest quality of life to its citizens and that requires building roads and libraries that they won't get their money back on but boost the overal city to warrant new people moving there and increases in tax breaks. That I all agree with it and thats why I think some public money should, and despite Nenshi's  stance will, go into this project. 

 

However, its the amount and the time frame that has to be considered. Typically an arena/stadium as a 30 ish year life span to it and then through be it inovation or demand needs to be replaced. The money being spent on Stoney Trail or the Library is going to last for a heck of alot more than 30 years. So 500-600 million or more for a project that will benefit this city for maybe the next 30 years makes it hard to compare this project to someone like Stoney or a new library that will in all likelihood service Calgarians for 50 years or more. I also think a city that is well designed from a traffic perspective has more postivie impact on migration that one that has professional sport teams or world class facilities so again i think its tough to compare the two. I do think however, Calgary should have world class facilites and thats why I do want this project built I jsut want a different funding model that's all. 

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An update after the city council meeting yesterday from the Globe and Mail...

 

It also has a vid clip with Bettman and then Nenshi...   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/calgary-mayor-fires-back-at-bettmans-back-of-the-napkin-arena-proposal/article28139449/

 

It's worth a read, here's part of it...

 

46847f2eacca0ee46db51d08e3d7a3ba.png

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I agree with your premise that you should not measure a government or governement projects based on a ROI or how much $ they are going to make off of it. Stoney is a good example as if the new library. I would wager tha less than 40% of Calgarians will use to new library at 170Million plus the city is spending on it so looking at it form a strict ROI perspective its not a great investment but that doens't mean it shoudn't be built. As Cheers just said a goal of any city has to be to provide the highest quality of life to its citizens and that requires building roads and libraries that they won't get their money back on but boost the overal city to warrant new people moving there and increases in tax breaks. That I all agree with it and thats why I think some public money should, and despite Nenshi's  stance will, go into this project. 

 

However, its the amount and the time frame that has to be considered. Typically an arena/stadium as a 30 ish year life span to it and then through be it inovation or demand needs to be replaced. The money being spent on Stoney Trail or the Library is going to last for a heck of alot more than 30 years. So 500-600 million or more for a project that will benefit this city for maybe the next 30 years makes it hard to compare this project to someone like Stoney or a new library that will in all likelihood service Calgarians for 50 years or more. I also think a city that is well designed from a traffic perspective has more postivie impact on migration that one that has professional sport teams or world class facilities so again i think its tough to compare the two. I do think however, Calgary should have world class facilites and thats why I do want this project built I jsut want a different funding model that's all. 

 

The one-time cost of building roads and other infrastructure is just part of the cost.  The annual maintenance costs adding up over 30 years is also extreme.  I don't know if that is part of the 500 million or not.  

 

Mayors tend to have a short-term view of cities, where they don't want to increase taxes during their terms.  They can argue that it's in the best interest of the city, but in reality it is political survival.  If the funding model is reasonable and benefits the city for any money/tax exemptions has a long term benefit, then it shouldn't be an issue.  

 

I tend to think this was a trial balloon to gauge the public opinion, much like an agent floating $9m per year for Gio.  The delay in getting it out there hurt it's viability.  In the end, a stadium/arena will get built.  There will be a public investment to clean up the area, as there should be.  

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I agree with your premise that you should not measure a government or governement projects based on a ROI or how much $ they are going to make off of it. Stoney is a good example as if the new library. I would wager tha less than 40% of Calgarians will use to new library at 170Million plus the city is spending on it so looking at it form a strict ROI perspective its not a great investment but that doens't mean it shoudn't be built. As Cheers just said a goal of any city has to be to provide the highest quality of life to its citizens and that requires building roads and libraries that they won't get their money back on but boost the overal city to warrant new people moving there and increases in tax breaks. That I all agree with it and thats why I think some public money should, and despite Nenshi's  stance will, go into this project. 

 

However, its the amount and the time frame that has to be considered. Typically an arena/stadium as a 30 ish year life span to it and then through be it inovation or demand needs to be replaced. The money being spent on Stoney Trail or the Library is going to last for a heck of alot more than 30 years. So 500-600 million or more for a project that will benefit this city for maybe the next 30 years makes it hard to compare this project to someone like Stoney or a new library that will in all likelihood service Calgarians for 50 years or more. I also think a city that is well designed from a traffic perspective has more postivie impact on migration that one that has professional sport teams or world class facilities so again i think its tough to compare the two. I do think however, Calgary should have world class facilites and thats why I do want this project built I jsut want a different funding model that's all. 

 

Libraries in the traditional sense will not serve the city for more than 2 decades and will meet its eventual fate of becoming cemeteries for ink scribed paper buried on shelves.  Libraries must evolve to be like "computer centers" where the public can access Wikipedia, Google, etc.  The future library that serves the city well will be a library online, not a physical place.

 

Stoney Trail must also evolve in time with additional lanes, use of new asphalt-type materials, new type of paints, etc.  What if the next generation of self driving cars require the road to be installed with a special kind of technology?   We would then have to rip apart roads to install this new tech.

 

But nonetheless, my premise is exactly, you cannot measure projects on ROI.  If Detroit can pull off a new arena for the Red Wings in the face of bankruptcy, then I think Calgary can do it for the Flames in tough economy times.

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