Calgary’s Urgent Need for a Decision on New Sport Facilities

CALGARY, Alberta — Over the past year Sport Calgary has advocated for a non-confrontational dialogue between the City of Calgary and the Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation, and it is pleased that this dialogue has taken place. Sport Calgary has been actively engaged as a stakeholder in this dialogue by both parties, and understands the complexity of the issue and its critical importance for Calgary.

Sport Calgary now encourages the City to carry out its further reviews on a timely basis, to enable Council approvals prior to the October 2017 civic elections.

“The time has come for fact-based decisions that enable City Council to define Calgary's future as a healthy and robust city,” said Murray Sigler, Sport Calgary CEO. “More than ever that future needs sport, including both a multisport fieldhouse and a new arena/events centre.”

An affordable multi-sport fieldhouse that meets all previously-stated "must haves”, including public beneft, remains a top priority for Calgary’s amateur sport community.

Sport Calgary believes that any expenditure of public funds towards new facilities must be done in a way that maximizes community use and overall public benefit.

The deep and longstanding need in Calgary for multisport fieldhouses has been well established. Sport Calgary reiterates the fve “must haves” for any multisport fieldhouse that might be built. These five items are a test by which any plans must be measured, and should be applied to any scenario involving the multisport fieldhouse. These items are:

  1. Fieldhouse amenities and program requirements
  2. Public/amateur sport users’ ease of access and parking
  3. Primetime availability of fieldhouse and practice ice rink given professional sport team and entertainment event priorities
  4. Affordable rates and fees and long-term guarantees
  5. Governance model with private sector operator vs. potential City operated or not-for-proft operated alternatives

Sport Calgary remains committed to advocating on behalf of sport so that Calgary can get the fieldhouse it needs. It supports the goals of the Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society, and their many member organizations.

It is also important to recognize the huge contribution to sport that the Flames organization makes to the city. 

Since coming to Calgary in 1980, the Flames have contributed nearly $50 million to amateur sport. This contribution has resulted in programs such as the Flames EvenStrength program, which has provided financial assistance to families to register for sports since 1998. Thousands of sports teams have received funding through the 50/50 program and the Flames continue to support a long-standing commitment to post secondary athletics in Calgary and southern Alberta. The Calgary Stampeders, Calgary Roughnecks and Calgary Hitmen each have charitable arms that provide financial assistance to a variety of sports groups as well. In so many ways, Calgary sport needs the Flames. 

A new arena/events centre would serve as a strong catalyst and anchor for a new world-class entertainment district for the benefit of all Calgarians.

Calgary was recently reaffirmed as one of the top fve most livable cities in the world. Nearly half of the criteria used to make that determination was related to sport and sport infrastructure. Approximately 380,000 Calgarians are currently registered in some 90 different sports on offer by one of the more than 400 sport organizations in Calgary. 

Affordable, accessible sport and wellness opportunities are vital to the quality of life for all Calgarians.

For further information, please contact David Benson, Director, Marketing & Communications, at 403.671.1789 or
dbenson@sportcalgary.ca.

Evans Hunt