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City details three years of Calgary Event Centre project

The City of Calgary’s timeline on the failed arena deal shows the extension of a pre-construction stage gate eight times between mid-2021 and early 2021.

The document, released publicly in advance of this week’s verbal update on the collapsed Event Centre deal, also details what happened at each milestone.

City council is expected to get both a public update and one behind closed doors during this week’s combined meeting of council. It’s anticipated that they may not get to the agenda item until a continuation of the meeting on Wednesday.

It’s a promised discussion after several questions were raised by city councillors last week over how the deal fell through. They were also troubled by the lack of council consultation prior to meeting the construction approval deadline of Dec. 31.

“(The mayor) had no interest in providing any other measures of support or even interested in discussing it,” Ward 10 Coun. Andre Chabot told Livewire Calgary last week.  

“She unilaterally made a decision to slam that door shut and lock it without consulting council.”

One of the concerns was a lack of discussion around a possible extension of the construction date. According to the timeline, the construction condition stage had already been extended once, from July 31, 2021, to Dec. 31.

That’s when the deal died, as constructions conditions were not met by midnight Dec. 31.

The document indicates that the city was willing to fund road reconstruction around the building. They would also assist in finding cash for climate work (solar panels). Had that been fulfilled, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) would have been on the hook for the remaining $6 million.

It’s unclear what the outcome of this week’s discussion will be. It’s believed the city will restate its commitment to a new Event Centre in Calgary.

Calgary Event Centre Timeli… by Darren Krause

Public discussion

Mayor Jyoti Gondek told media on Tuesday that the public discussion would be around the timeline from initial decision to the Wedneday meeting.

She said they’ll talk about the steps taken in that deal and how things have transpired. Council will then be able to go into a closed session to ask question of a confidential nature.

“We will discuss as a council how we move forward with an entertainment district that includes an event center and I’m very interested in engaging in that discussion with my colleagues,” the mayor said.