CALGARY — The Calgary Event Centre is expected to break ground in the new year after city council approved several amendments to the project on Wednesday.
Movement on the arena came to a halt after it was revealed the cost of the project had jumped to $608 million, which was $58 million more than what was agreed upon in 2019.
City council has agreed to contribute an additional $12.5 million to the overall project budget, bringing the city’s portion of the event centre to $287 million, which is within the agreed-upon amount with the original framework agreement.
The Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, which is now transitioning into the role of development manager, will fund the additional $321 million and be responsible for any cost overruns.
“It really reduces the risk for Calgarians, but at the same, because the City is still the regulatory authority, we have to approve the permits and so on. We still have the ability to make sure this building is beautiful, that this building will meet the needs of Calgarians and will build the district of the neighbourhoods going forward,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
Officials have also touched more on the design of the centre, saying that the seating capacity of the new area will be around 18,300, which is less than the Saddledome, but hovers around the league average for the NHL.
More on design, officials say seating capacity of the new rink would be 18,300 (about a thousand fewer seats than the Saddledome). However it puts it in line with the average NHL rink, near the same as the new Edmonton rink pic.twitter.com/0Y934FRdub
— Tom Ross (@Tommy_Slick) July 28, 2021
A development permit for the event centre will need to be submitted in early August for construction to start in Jan. 2022.