There’s a sense of optimism among sports groups in Calgary after the city’s latest update on a potential multisport fieldhouse.
An indoor sports facility like this one has been on the city’s unfunded projects list for decades — but now, it may finally become a reality.
City council’s new Multisport Fieldhouse Committee held its inaugural meeting Wednesday, working toward a vision for what the city called Calgary’s first community-centered, competition-capable multisport fieldhouse.
It would be constructed at Foothills Athletic Park in northwest Calgary, on the site currently occupied by a baseball stadium.
The group is now refining the concepts for what the new fieldhouse should include.
“The new amenity that they’re bringing forward, the new concept, separates the different areas so that soccer can play at the same time that track can play and it’s making sure that it’s competition ready,” said Coun. Jasmine Mian, the chair of the committee.
“We want to build something that we can host competitions at and people can use right away.”
The committee is now envisioning a 200-metre track instead of 400 metres, and segmenting the building so that an indoor field is on one side with the track and courts on the other side.
That concept is also expected to help reduce the cost of the roof structure for the space, Mian said.
The city has put aside $109 million for the project but is looking for other funding sources for the project that was first envisioned more than 10 years ago.
Along with the cost, the new plan reflects a vision that the city wants to implement — eliminating the barrier of entry for those who want to play sports.
“Since the original concept plan for the fieldhouse was developed in 2010, the sport and recreation landscape in Calgary has changed,” said Heather Johnson, the city’s director of recreation and social programs.
“We want to ensure the amenity mix and layout for the fieldhouse serves as many sport and community groups as possible while minimizing required tax support.”
Once the required money is locked down, the city says it will take five years to design and construct the building, which could cost about a quarter of a billion dollars.
The wider, longer-term plan for the Foothills Athletic Park area envisions new and renewed athletic facilities on the city-owned portion of that land, while the University of Calgary would pursue plans for residential and commercial developments on the adjacent land it owns, which includes McMahon Stadium.