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NHL arena back on City's priority list

Last Updated Jan 29, 2019 at 8:20 am MDT

Artist's concept of Calgary Events Centre (CREDIT: Rosetti, City of Calgary)

Four major projects including a new NHL arena is on the priority list for City Council

Council is now looking for ways to fund the projects

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – An NHL arena is back on City council’s wish list following a marathon session on Monday.

Council approved in principle, a plan that would include an events centre as part of a redevelopment of Victoria Park.

Expansion to both the BMO Centre and Arts Commons and a field house near McMahon Stadium were also included on the capital spending wish list.

Ward 6 Councillor Jeff Davison led the push to bring an NHL arena proposal back to council.

“Effectively, what we’re doing is moving forward with an events centre as our first priority,” Davison said. “It’s the furthest along and that’s what we intend to keep moving forward with.”

The BMO Centre expansion, which would double its size, already has City and provincial government approval. The project is awaiting federal funding.

Arts Commons is seeking a $412-million renovation and expansion plan.

A new field house proposal is also on the table.

Lawyer Bill Smith, a former mayoral candidate in 2017, pitched an ambitious plan to replace McMahon Stadium.

It would be built where Foothills baseball facility currently sits.

READ MORE: Council talks events centre

In addition to a field house, it includes a CFL stadium, two ice arenas and a 6500 seat facility.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said all four projects are on a priority list and there won’t be shovels in the ground anytime soon.

“We really want to do all four,” Nenshi said. “We haven’t figured out how to make the money work.”

“Council didn’t say no to any of them,” Nenshi said. “But council didn’t approve a funding model for any of them.”

Talks with Flames’ ownership to build a new NHL arena broke down before the 2017 municipal election.

Nenshi said the city never walked away from talks and is willing to resume negotiations under the right circumstances.