Getting to the Saddledome in time for the home opener of the Calgary Flames is a little more complicated this year, as road work for the Green Line, BMO Centre Expansion, and Stampede Trail developments continue.
CMLC and the Calgary Flames are hoping to help Calgarians avoid delays with interactive maps and apps, along with travel tips for fans and visitors to Victoria Park alike.
“There’s more than $600 million in city building projects underway in the cultural entertainment district right now… these infrastructure investments and anchor projects like the BMO Center Expansion are all in pursuit of developing a great vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood, but the resulting traffic impacts are certainly can be disruptive,” said Emma Stevens, Director of Communications and External Relations with CMLC.
“I know that these impacts are disruptive and so we appreciate patience and understanding while we complete this work.”
The number one tip from both CMLC and the Calgary Flames for anyone wanting to access the Saddledome for games or other events continues to be travel from the south.
“If you’re coming into the area and usually use the 4 Street underpass, we’d recommend going around and using Macleod trail to get north-south instead of coming in on 9 Avenue,” said Stevens.
“There’s a couple other closures more directly next to the Saddledome. We’re rebuilding Stampede Trail right next to the Saddledome and at the BMO Center, so that north-south connection is also closed and so vehicles will be detoured around the back of the Saddledome.”
For general access to the Culture and Entertainment District, Stevens said that the CMLC interactive road closures map was the best way to keep on top of changing road closures and detours.
“The C+E access map is your best bet for getting real-time construction impacts and traffic updates… where you can find out what roads are closed, what roads are open, so you can plan your trip ahead of time.”
The Calgary Flames have also begun to provide Saddledome-specific directions and updated road conditions on their website at www.scotiabanksaddledome.com/getting-here and in the Calgary Flames app.
Elizabeth Whittaker, Director of Building Operations for the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC), said that the app would also have all of the entertainment information that fans would want alongside directions, allowing for people to pre-plan their visits.
“We want our fans to have the best experience, and whilst we appreciate that all of this is going on in the park, we really want to make sure that we’re giving them all the information they need to have a successful and enjoyable night,” she said.
Top travel advice to head off delays
Stevens said that while Calgarians will have to wait until 2024 for most of the projects to be completed, the work that is being undertaken for utility upgrades and other construction projects along Culture and Entertainment District roads means that Calgarians should plan ahead.
“Give yourself extra time to get to your event. There are lots of great restaurants in the area, so come on down, have a bite to eat, and give yourself lots of extra time before taking your seat,” Stevens said.
“We’d also recommend taking Calgary Transit to avoid traffic and parking delays. It’s a short trip from the Victoria Park/Stampede LRT station to the Saddledome, or to the BMO center, and the other venues on Stampede Park.”
Whittaker said that they’re opening the doors two hours ahead of the puck drop in order to give fans lots of time to get to the Saddledome and into their seats.
“We’ve got a really exciting pregame activity taking place, so there’s a really great show, and we want people to be involved in that,” she said.
For fans looking to park at the Saddledome, the way to access that would be from the south end of Stampede Park with road access leading around the rear of the Saddledome.
For fans looking to park and walk, the Platform Parkade on 9 Avenue was also suggested as an option.
“If you’re coming into the park from the north, then we’re encouraging customers to take advantage of parking in the Platform Innovation Center and Parkade. If you’re coming into the park and you want to park, then we’re encouraging people to park in the 11th Avenue lot.”