Calgary multisport fieldhouse discussions resurface at City Hall

Calgary’s multi-sport fieldhouse, part of the Foothils Athletic Park redevelopment is back at the surface following a hiatus. As Taylor Braat reports, a new committee will be formed to take over in February.

Calgary’s future multisport fieldhouse is back in discussions at City Hall as the Foothills athletic park redevelopment assessment committee met Monday.

But for the last time, because a new committee will be formed in mid-February to take conversations further.

Calgary sports advocate and host of the Alberta Dugout Stories Podcast, Joe McFarland, says this action is long overdue.

“They’ve been kicking it down the field — pardon the pun — a lot,” he said.

“It’s one of the four pillars the city has identified, it’s something it needs. Every major city needs a field house. This thing has been talked about for a really, really long time and at some point, somebody’s gotta say enough is enough. Let’s move forward.”

The committee said the focus is the field house instead of the overall area. It’s to capitalize on the investment sooner than later.

The city has committed $109 million, the full portion of its commitment. A recent $20 million addition came from the 2023-2026 budget.

“We’ll be looking for funding partners to really move this project forward, catalyzing on the funds the city has already earmarked for this,” said Michael Thompson, the City of Calgary general manager of infrastructure services.

The committee was formed in 2019 – they brought forth a plan in 2021 which was approved.

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The plan involves McMahan stadium, the fieldhouse and mixed-use facilities, and improved transit in the area.

The field house will feature multiple courts, athletic areas and a 400-metre track, filling current gaps in the city’s offerings of indoor sports facilities. Mcfarland says he hopes for the sake of the teams who will use it, swift action is taken.

“You look at the dinos or some of those community groups that use foothills stadium. They’re sitting there going month to month, year to year do we have a home or are we going to have to find some other field to call home,” he said.

In 2019 it was estimated the field house would cost $285 million dollars to build, but there is no updated cost estimate. Once funding becomes available, the project’s timeline will be five years to complete.

People can find out more by visiting the City of Calgary website.

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