Over three years since the plan was officially unveiled, the city council has approved construction to start on the new Calgary Event Centre. Described as much more than an arena, the centre will become a cornerstone development in Calgary’s Victoria Park. Here’s the scoop!
The centre will be located at the intersection of 12 Avenue and 4 Street S.E., adjacent to the BMO Centre and just a couple of blocks north of the Calgary Saddledome. It’s been described as the gateway into Stampede Park, reflecting a year-round approach to its use.
Replacing the 1988-built Saddledome, the Calgary Event Centre is a combined effort between the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (which owns the Calgary Flames and other teams) and the City of Calgary itself. While both are committing hundreds of millions to the project’s $608.5m price tag, the CSEC will be responsible for any cost overruns during construction.
Two prominent architecture firms are behind the design. First up is HOK, which has been involved in everything from Rogers Place in Edmonton to Atlant’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. They’ll be working alongside DIALOG, whose projects include the new Calgary Central Library and the proposed redesign of the Glenbow Museum.
While not exactly the most ambitious of designs, the new renderings of the Calgary Event Centre reflect a focus on function just as much as form. According to documents shared during the city council meeting, the centre will be able to seat some 18,000 fans for hockey games and over 20,000 for centre stage concerts. Surprisingly, that means a lower capacity for hockey games than the Saddledome, which we find to be a little bit confusing.
For more information on the new Calgary Event Centre, straight from the horse’s mouth, you can check out Agenda Item 7.1.2 in the latest council meeting.