Rivers District and Event Centre deal

Good Afternoon Ward 12,

I assume that many of you are aware of, and digesting the details surrounding, the new deal for the Event Centre and upgrades to the Rivers District. This deal has increased the scope of the project manyfold and thoughtfully incorporated a myriad of community benefits that led to a unanimous vote of Council yesterday.

For some background and context, the Rivers District East Village project is witnessing an incredible transformation catalyzed by $396 million in infrastructure and development that has attracted close to $3 billion more of planned development. Our city grows through a vibrant connection and collaboration between public and private investment. The Green Line is an example, as it won’t just move people in a more efficient and environmentally conscious way—it will catalyze high-intensity development (highly productive taxable land) along its alignment.

There will be all sorts of commentary on this deal in the days and months to come. As you interact with that commentary and the details of the deal, please remember that we are in the middle of a massive effort to revitalize our downtown. Next year we are completing the largest convention centre in Western Canada while getting ever closer to breaking ground on the Green Line. Calgary’s Culture + Entertainment District is poised to supercharge tourism and investment in our city for generations to come. All of this was envisioned and planned with a revitalized event centre at the heart and supported by revitalizing public infrastructure and additions of public amenities. This deal is keeping those dreams and the vision alive.

CMLC Development Projects | CMLC (calgarymlc.ca)

The financial framework and cost estimates show the renewed and expanded scope that makes this deal about much more than an arena:

The cost will be shared among public and private investment partners as follows:

The City:

  • $537.3 million to fund the development of the Event Centre, parking structure, the enclosed plaza, and 25% of the community rink.


  • $40 million upfront and $17 million per year (increasing 1% per year) over 35 years to offset Event Centre costs, parking, the enclosed plaza, and 25% of the community rink
    • $356 million in present value; $750 million+ over the 35 year term
  • $1.5 million per year to community sports
    • $25 million in present value; $52.5 million over the 35 year team

The Province

  • $330.0 million
    • $300 million to fund transportation improvements, land, infrastructure and site enabling costs, including off-site and on-site utility servicing costs, public realm and site clearing/demolition
    • $30 million to fund 50% of the community rink

Calgary Stampede

  • Agreed to certain land sales and transfers that will allow for the development of the Event Centre that enables a vibrant entertainment district surrounding the Event Centre


This agreement is a different agreement than the last one. This is a comprehensive program that goes beyond an Event Centre facility. It secures funding for the district wide improvements needed to promote development, improve transportation and provide community gathering spaces as part of the Rivers District Master Plan. This inclusive approach includes the necessary elements to animate a Culture and Entertainment District.


Please visit the city website for more information related to the deal.

  • Evan Spencer
    published this page in Blog 2023-04-26 15:39:12 -0600