Premier Danielle Smith believes that there is no time like the present to jump-start plans for a new event Centre in Calgary, so much so that she wants the provincial government to participate. On Tuesday she issued a statement on her official Twitter account, stating that Calgary needs a new world-class event centre.
"Given the critical cultural and economic import of this project to Calgary and the Province, I would like to identify potential ways that our Government can assist the City and the CSEC (Calgary Sports & Entertainment Corporation) in achieving a successful outcome for this initiative," Smith posted on her official Twitter account.
Smith has tapped MLA for Calgary-Hays, Ric McIver, who is also a former city councillor, to be the province's representative for the said initiative. Smith has directed McIver to reach out to both the City of Calgary and the CSEC for feedback on how best the province can help.
She underlined that as a long-time Calgary resident she understands that the iconic Saddledome has served the community for decades, but it is no longer able to compete with other event centres across North America.
"One only needs to look north to Rogers Place to see world-class events being attracted to Edmonton along with the economic revitalization that facility has brought to its downtown core."
Earlier this month, the City of Calgary announced that they and the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) agreed to begin formal discussions with a fresh start toward a new event centre.
According to a press release from The City of Calgary, CSEC has agreed time is of the essence to reach a formal agreement on a new event centre while ensuring they take the time necessary to reach an agreement that will meet The City and CSEC’s needs.
"I must emphasize this point," said Stuart Dalgleish, General Manager of Planning and Development Services for The City. "We must do this right, which means we will need space and we will need time to work on a successful agreement. We will be keeping our discussions confidential and reporting to the Event Centre Committee when the time is right."
Previously in 2019, due to a dispute over budget costs, the talks disintegrated, leaving the future of the new events centre in limbo.
Smith reiterated her support for the project with another tweet on Wednesday, stating that the economic benefits of a new arena and events centre are substantial.
"Not to mention, we all want to see a playoff Battle of Alberta between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers in a new rink!" Smith tweeted.
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