The eagerly-awaited Calgary Rivers District and Events Centre is finally set to take off, thanks in part to a significant injection of funds from the Alberta government.
The province is investing in new transportation infrastructure, indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, a community rink, and demolition of the existing Saddledome.
The Rivers District project, once complete, will add an estimated 4 million square feet of mixed-use development (homes, retail, hotels) in Calgary’s Culture and Entertainment District.
“Alberta is proud to be a key funding partner for this project to help ensure Calgary has the infrastructure it needs to support a vibrant events district, enhance the downtown core and promote economic development, now and in the future,” said Minister of Transportation Devin Dreeshen.
“This contribution is an investment in the long-term economic sustainability of Calgary’s downtown.”
Yet, the path to this moment has not been without hurdles. Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek has been under scrutiny for her previous reservations about the original deal.
Gondek’s initial hesitations caused unnecessary delays and prolonged negotiations.
While the City of Calgary commits to covering 44% of the project’s expenses, the Alberta government’s fresh funding, combined with contributions from the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp., ensures that the remaining 56% of the costs are well-covered.