Mayor knocks $240M “revitalization levy” to subsidize private Calgary stadium

Early analysis suggests using a $200-million community revitalization levy to partially bankroll the Calgary Flames group’s mega sports complex in west downtown won’t work, Calgary (Alberta) Mayor Naheed Nenshi said in a recent year-end interview.

This summer, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. pitched an ambitious plan to build a new NHL arena, CFL stadium and public field house in the West Village using private and public dollars: $200 million from the owners, a $250-million ticket tax (though the Flames prefer calling it a user fee), $200 million in tax dollars, and a $240-million community revitalization levy.

Under the proposal, the facilities and the land would be owned by the city.

Ken King, president of the ownership group, maintains the $890-million project, called CalgaryNEXT, could generate as much as $900 million in ancillary property tax revenue, in part through the use of the $240-million revitalization levy.

But Nenshi disputes the $900-million figure, saying the success of the levy in that location is intimately tied to the cost of remediating the land.

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