City of Calgary releases detailed agreements for new arena project with Flames

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A little more than a month after signing definitive agreements with the Calgary Flames, the Stampede and the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), the city has released the detailed contracts for the new arena development in East Victoria Park.

The signed agreements — which contain information on the planning, construction, lease and cost overrun agreements between parties — are now available to the public online.

The cost to build the $550-million Event Centre will be split 50/50, with Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) and the city each covering $275 million.

The land and building will be owned by the city and the Flames’ ownership group will cover the operation and maintenance costs for 35 years.

The city will get two per cent of the ticket revenue and $250,000 per year for the first 10 years for the naming rights. Once the arena is completed and turned over to CSEC, it will pay taxes to the city, though the exact amount is redacted in the public agreements.

CMLC will get $8 million to work as the project manager for the planning and building stages of the rink.

If there are any cost overruns when building the arena, CMLC will first consider using money from a contingency fund or scaling the project back. If more money is needed, the city and Flames will split the extra costs 50/50. CMLC will not be liable to fund any of the cost overruns.

The bill to tear down the Saddledome will mostly fall to the city at an estimated cost of $12.4 million (the Flames’ contribution to the demolition will not exceed $1.5 million). After the new arena is built and before the Saddledome is torn down, the Flames will have the right to refuse any events it “considers to be in competition with programming offered at the Event Centre.”

Also included in the public contracts, the city has given the Flames’ owners the option to buy and develop the land in Victoria Park where the bus barns currently are. The land will be offered up “at a price equal to fair market value” and the option will expire 10 years after the arena is completed.

CMLC will run public engagement for the project’s design starting this month and running until April.