Feel good about your information and become a local news champion today

Foothills multisport fieldhouse will be the focus of the area’s redevelopment plan

Calgary will focus on the multisport fieldhouse component of the Foothills Athletic Park as it moves forward with the area’s redevelopment.

The final report of the Foothills Athletic Park Redevelopment Assessment Committee was delivered Monday morning. Along with that was a commitment to advance a specific aspect that city officials said would be the area’s “catalyst.”

They will move ahead with a new committee and new terms of reference starting Feb. 14, according to the committee chair, Coun. Jasmine Mian.  It will outline a focus on pursuing a multisport fieldhouse.

“I’ve had a couple of questions already as to whether this is an abandonment of this particular concept plan. It certainly is not,” Mian said.

“This is an extension of the work that we have been doing. And, as with any good city planning, you really do start at the overall concept level and then you get a little bit more specific as you go.”

The overarching plan, first started in 2019, looked at the long-term redevelopment of the area around Foothills Athletic Park into a mixed-use area, including McMahon Stadium.  

The anchor of the area would be a 2019-estimated $285 million fieldhouse.

City of Calgary recreation director Heather Johnson said the new committee would solidify a vision for the athletic park and find capital funding for it.

“The fieldhouse is the first step towards realizing the vision for the Foothills Athletic Park,” Johnson said.

Ward 7 Coun. Terry Wong asked what would happen with the overall concept plan for the area’s redevelopment. Administration said the fieldhouse was the first component that would catalyze further investment in the area.

Funding and the road ahead

Right now, the city has set aside $109 million to help fund the project, Johnson said. Most recently, the 2023-2026 budget added $20 million.

The city didn’t include an anticipated cost for the fieldhouse in this report. Michael Thompson, the city’s GM for Infrastructure Services said that as they go through the design process, they’ll finalize the estimated cost.

“Obviously, in today’s infrastructure climate we’re always facing inflationary pressure,” Thompson said.

“So, we’ll see what the number comes in as we move to the next step.”

The city would be after contributions from other orders of government for the fieldhouse project.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said getting to this point is the culmination of efforts from both administration and partner organizations like Sport Calgary, McMahon Stadium, Tourism Calgary and the University of Calgary.

“I think it’s going to allow us to deliver that first critical piece of infrastructure that will trigger more investment,” she said.

City administration will complete an amenity refinement study by Q2 2023, to ensure the fieldhouse facility meets the needs of a variety of city sports organizations.