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New Arena/Entertainment District

Do you support the proposal for the new arena?

  • Yes

    Votes: 30 88.2%
  • No

    Votes: 2 5.9%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 2 5.9%

  • Total voters
    34

MichaelS

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Has the inverted bowl ever been built before? My first thought when I see that video is, the angle down to the ice (or stage, or court) will be way too steep from the top levels. You will have to have your chin in your chest the whole time. Anybody else get that feeling? Just me? I am sure it was probably one of the very first things thought of with the design, but it just seems like it to me.
 

Surrealplaces

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I was wondering about that too. The concept they show reminds me of the old Chicago Stadium. I sat in the nose bleeds there and it was quite steep, similar to the nose bleeds at the Dome, but with an overhang feeling to it. In the case of Chicago Stadium, even in the upper seats, you felt like you were right over the action. Maybe these guys guys are just putting a spin on the way arenas used to be. The end seats at the Maple Leaf Gardens also had that feeling.

I went to a game in the United Centre, and to be honest Chicago Stadium had a better atmosphere. Maybe that's what they're trying to re-create some of that.

Has the inverted bowl ever been built before? My first thought when I see that video is, the angle down to the ice (or stage, or court) will be way too steep from the top levels. You will have to have your chin in your chest the whole time. Anybody else get that feeling? Just me? I am sure it was probably one of the very first things thought of with the design, but it just seems like it to me.
 
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BKha

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The feeling I'm getting from social media and talking to people etc.. is the debate over whether to support the arena is done, and people are accepting it's coming. Discussion is moving toward the design, or what concerts we'll be getting.
 

JonnyCanuck

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The feeling I'm getting from social media and talking to people etc.. is the debate over whether to support the arena is done, and people are accepting it's coming. Discussion is moving toward the design, or what concerts we'll be getting.
That's very reassuring to hear. This has been debated far too long. It is time for action. I am glad the council vote is on Tuesday.
 
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Silence&Motion

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I voted "no". At the moment I'm just so disgusted by the fact that we've put the Greenline on pause because in *might* go 10% over its $5 billion budget. We're also cutting millions from existing transit service and laying off hundreds of city workers. And now we're just supposed to vote to confirm hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies for a for-profit corporation with virtually no time to debate or consult the public? All the available evidence suggests these sports arenas are economic losers. I get that there are non-economic benefits. However, we could also put that quarter-billion dollars toward other things that would probably have greater economic and non-economic benefits. I mean, let's just put it toward covering the *possible* cost overruns for the green line.

It also disgusts me that so many conservatives who are constantly talking about "getting the fiscal house in order" are falling over themselves to support stuffing hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of wealthy elites. It's like the UCP got elected and the old boys club is back to running the show.
 

DougB

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I'm kind of in that boat now. I had mixed feeling s about the old deal, but I'm okay with the new one, and while not perfect, just want it moving ahead now.
The City is a deal taker, not a deal maker. Trying to present the entertainment center with a business case is kind of disingenuous. The only possible analysis is to compare vs. deals in Edmonton and Seattle.

The City should be concerned about the development proposal cannibalizing East Village and The Bridges. If those projects had momentum, there would be no concern.
 

AJX

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Maybe. Wouldn't some of the new development at Vic Park be development not expected for the bridge or EV, like a Hotel or some of the restaurants and bars? I'm not defending the business economics that they've presented, but I don't believe this will have much cannibalization of EV or BL. Those are separate neighborhoods on their own path, and BL is already built.
The City should be concerned about the development proposal cannibalizing East Village and The Bridges. If those projects had momentum, there would be no concern.
 

Zoom

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I can't say you're wrong, the optics and the principal (public transit vs privately funded arena) aren't good in many ways, but I'm supporting the new arena proposal for a few reasons.

- The scales are so different. $275Million compared to $5Billion. The Green Line has potential to be hundreds of millions even billions over cost if not done right. The arena could have overruns too, but it's a much smaller amount.

- The window of opportunity. While it doesn't seem like the Flames would leave, the potential is still there for them to do so if a new arena doesn't get built. The dome can still host some sports teams and the odd concert but that won't last forever (Some say the dome has another 10-20 years before it gets torn down either way) The only way to get sports teams and concerts at that point is for the city to build one themselves (not happening) or try and get a new team and be back to where we are now 10-20 years from now. Or be like Quebec city and let the team leave, and end up building a new arena with city money and without an anchor tenant in hopes of luring an NHL team

- The chance that it will spur some development in Vic Park. I'm not relying on this happening and the economics numbers are dubious IMO, but Vic Park is a dead zone that isn't going anywhere without some kind of catalyst. Only three new residential developments in Vic Park despite a building boom in the core that has seen a hundred or so projects built...….two of those 3 buildings are half empty, and were built because the underground portion was already done. All other proposals for VP have fizzled due to no sales.

Those are the three main reasons along with some intangibles, for example I would like to see some good concerts without having to go to Edmonton. I will use the arena more than I would the new library, or NMC, The zoo, Heritage Park or other public attractions the city has put money into, and I still support money going to those entities.

I voted "no". At the moment I'm just so disgusted by the fact that we've put the Greenline on pause because in *might* go 10% over its $5 billion budget. We're also cutting millions from existing transit service and laying off hundreds of city workers. And now we're just supposed to vote to confirm hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies for a for-profit corporation with virtually no time to debate or consult the public? All the available evidence suggests these sports arenas are economic losers. I get that there are non-economic benefits. However, we could also put that quarter-billion dollars toward other things that would probably have greater economic and non-economic benefits. I mean, let's just put it toward covering the *possible* cost overruns for the green line.

It also disgusts me that so many conservatives who are constantly talking about "getting the fiscal house in order" are falling over themselves to support stuffing hundreds of millions of dollars into the pockets of wealthy elites. It's like the UCP got elected and the old boys club is back to running the show.
 

DougB

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Maybe development in Victoria Park will compliment East Village, maybe it will compete. However, the arena and BMO Center expansion alone are unlikely to revitalize the area on their own. CSEC, the Stampede and the City need to look at other opportunities:
-extend the Stampede from 1 to 2 or 3 weeks. The Stampede brand is powerful. A 3 week Stampede could be a huge draw for big name entertainment and bring in incremental tourists. This would improve the facility fee return to the City
-bring in a few Vegas style casinos to complement the other entertainment draws. Maybe a Stampede themed casino to leverage the brand
-find some way to capture some of the Banff tourist traffic to spend a few days in Calgary. Maybe that would involve subsidized shuttle service from both the Airport and Banff
 

Silence&Motion

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I can't say you're wrong, the optics and the principal (public transit vs privately funded arena) aren't good in many ways, but I'm supporting the new arena proposal for a few reasons.

- The scales are so different. $275Million compared to $5Billion. The Green Line has potential to be hundreds of millions even billions over cost if not done right. The arena could have overruns too, but it's a much smaller amount.

- The window of opportunity. While it doesn't seem like the Flames would leave, the potential is still there for them to do so if a new arena doesn't get built. The dome can still host some sports teams and the odd concert but that won't last forever (Some say the dome has another 10-20 years before it gets torn down either way) The only way to get sports teams and concerts at that point is for the city to build one themselves (not happening) or try and get a new team and be back to where we are now 10-20 years from now. Or be like Quebec city and let the team leave, and end up building a new arena with city money and without an anchor tenant in hopes of luring an NHL team

- The chance that it will spur some development in Vic Park. I'm not relying on this happening and the economics numbers are dubious IMO, but Vic Park is a dead zone that isn't going anywhere without some kind of catalyst. Only three new residential developments in Vic Park despite a building boom in the core that has seen a hundred or so projects built...….two of those 3 buildings are half empty, and were built because the underground portion was already done. All other proposals for VP have fizzled due to no sales.

Those are the three main reasons along with some intangibles, for example I would like to see some good concerts without having to go to Edmonton. I will use the arena more than I would the new library, or NMC, The zoo, Heritage Park or other public attractions the city has put money into, and I still support money going to those entities.
I generally agree with all of your points. I am not opposed to *some* kind of deal, but there's just a lot of stink on this particular deal that bothers me.

1. The city is claiming that we will make back the money through property taxes. However, this is disingenuous since almost all of the property taxes would come from development that would have occurred elsewhere in the city.

2. The report purposely ignores inflation in order to make it sound like the City is going to make a profit when in reality it will be losing money (about $50 million over 35 years). This is not a deal breaker for me, but it is another disingenuous statements.

3. The fact that the city owns the arena has been promoted as a plus (as if it's a "public" facility). In reality, all this means is that in 35 years when the building is old and in deep need of renovation, the city will be left holding the bag. The Flames will once again start demanding public money for renovations or a new building.

4. The Flames have been negotiating in bad faith all along, trying to sway the municipal election and constantly threatening to leave. Many councilors have been parroting these threats. However, sports economists have claimed that there is almost no chance that the Flames leave (and in fact, they admitted this recently). So, the city has the upper hand in the negotiations.

5. We've been given a week to make a decision about a deal that was made completely behind closed doors. Restaurants need to do more public consultation when they want to build a sidewalk patio! What's the rush? Again, the city has the upper hand. There is no need to rush this decision.

Taken together, these five points make me deeply, deeply suspicious of this deal. I don't think we have all of the information and I don't see why this has to be rushed through other than the Flames and their backers at City Hall are worried that the longer we have to look at it, the more we will realize that we're being misled. I might actually support the deal if I felt like there was sufficient public scrutiny and transparency.
 

Surrealplaces

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As mentioned earlier I'm in general support of the deal, but I admit there are some things that are funky. The numbers part I don't find suspicious, to me it's a typical sales pitch where exaggerations are made. Easier to beg forgiveness later if something doesn't pan out as promised.
The one week timeline is rushed, or at least it is to us who have have only just received the details. I get the feeling that many, maybe all of Councillors had been involved or partially involved in the deal before Monday's announcement and have already made their minds up. The reactions I see from the councilors is that it doesn't seem like news to them.
 
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