Multisport Fieldhouse Should Be the #1 Facility Priority

Calgary is a world class city; it deserves a world class facility. Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society (CMFS) has been advocating for a Fieldhouse for almost a decade.  In fact, the very first Fieldhouse proposal to the City of Calgary was 50 years ago in 1967.  Embarrassingly, Calgary remains the only major Canadian winter city without a true Multisport Fieldhouse.  Currently, Edmonton has two operational fieldhouse facilities and is anticipating having two more come on line before the City of Calgary builds out its first.

What is a Multisport Fieldhouse and what makes it different than other facilities in Calgary currently? A Fieldhouse is an indoor facility that features a running track which surrounds a turf field and in the case of the proposed Calgary Fieldhouse a 400m track and a full FIFA size field which can be used for field sports including soccer, football, field hockey, rugby & lacrosse.  Because of our often-challenging weather and growing population, indoor sports facilities are greatly needed to serve amateur sport groups and active Calgarians of all ages.

CMFS has engaged the support of over 25 amateur sport associations representing approximately 200,000 members in Calgary and throughout Alberta. No different than a new library, revitalized parks, East Village, Green Line LRT or state of the art transit storage facilities, a Fieldhouse is part of the infrastructure and amenities a growing international city such as Calgary requires. 

The Fieldhouse is a facility with 100% true public benefit that aligns with the City’s 10 year Economic Strategy - area of focus – Community Energy. The strategy of “Build and Promote Calgary as a city to live a creative, active life” includes a particularly relevant action item: “Build a city where all Calgarians can participate in sport and recreation to the extent they choose”.

A Multisport Fieldhouse remains listed as the #1 highest priority project in the Unified List of Unfunded Capital Requirements for the City of Calgary. In 2013, a Fieldhouse was confirmed as the first priority to be built in any redevelopment of city lands at Foothills Athletics Park.  While The City of Calgary has confirmed the Multisport Fieldhouse need on multiple occasions, including the City of Calgary/Sport Calgary Strategic Plan for Sport Facility Development & Enhancement, it has yet to make any commitment in green lighting the project for development.

“The Fieldhouse should be the #1 priority for any sports facility related tax payer dollars or City financial support. While CMFS appreciates, and agrees with the need for a new Arena/Events Center we emphasize the need to address Fieldhouse funding first.  Understanding the far-reaching implications of this decision and the complexity attached, we advocate a new City Council to act with urgency in committing to a funded Fieldhouse. To that end we would stress the importance of knowing where all the Mayoralty and Councillor Candidates stand in regard to this very important issue.”  states Jason Zaran, Chair of the Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society.

Any potential location for the Multisport Fieldhouse must be carefully evaluated & compared using the same five major criteria to meet the requirements of amateur sport and the general public:

1)    Fieldhouse amenities and program requirements

2)    Public/amateur sport users’ ease of access & parking

3)    Wide primetime availability for public & amateur sport groups

4)    Affordable rates & fees and long term guarantees

5)    Governance model to serve the needs of user groups

CMFS will continue to work closely with the City of Calgary and Sport Calgary in support of this much needed facility.  To that end, engagement with our user groups and key stakeholders within the Province is paramount as we look to take our Society’s mandate from that of advocacy to one of execution. This will ensure all programming and corresponding design details assist in the most optimal facility experience while keeping the core vision and must have criteria focused on the benefit for all Calgarians.  Together we can enhance our city and benefit future generations with the foremost Multisport Fieldhouse facility of its kind in the world.   

Please contact CMFS for further information or media interviews.

contact@calgaryfieldhouse.ca

www.calgaryfieldhouse.ca

 

 

 

 

CMFS Press Release, July 2017

For Immediate Release: July 27, 2017

The Multisport Fieldhouse Should Be the #1 Facility Priority

Calgary is a world class city; it deserves a world class facility. Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society (CMFS) has been advocating for a Fieldhouse for almost a decade.  In fact, the very first Fieldhouse proposal to the City of Calgary was 50 years ago in 1967.  Embarrassingly, Calgary remains the only major Canadian city of any size without a true Multisport Fieldhouse.  Currently, Edmonton has two operational fieldhouse facilities and is anticipating having two more come on line before the City of Calgary builds out its first.

What is a Multisport Fieldhouse and what makes it different than other facilities in Calgary currently? A Fieldhouse is an indoor facility that features a running track which surrounds a turf field and in the case of the proposed Calgary Fieldhouse a 400m track and a full FIFA size field which can be used for field sports including soccer, football, field hockey, rugby & lacrosse.  Because of our often-challenging weather and growing population, indoor sports facilities are greatly needed to serve amateur sport groups and active Calgarians of all ages.

CMFS has engaged the support of over 25 amateur sport associations representing approximately 200,000 members in Calgary and throughout Alberta. No different than a new library, revitalized parks, East Village, Green Line LRT or state of the art transit storage facilities, a Fieldhouse is part of the infrastructure and amenities a growing international city such as Calgary requires. 

The Fieldhouse is a facility with 100% true public benefit that aligns with the City’s 10 year Economic Strategy - area of focus – Community Energy. The strategy of “Build and Promote Calgary as a city to live a creative, active life” includes a particularly relevant action item: “Build a city where all Calgarians can participate in sport and recreation to the extent they choose”.

A Multisport Fieldhouse remains listed as the #1 highest priority project in the Unified List of Unfunded Capital Requirements for the City of Calgary. In 2013, a Fieldhouse was confirmed as the first priority to be built in any redevelopment of city lands at Foothills Athletics Park.  While The City of Calgary has confirmed the Multisport Fieldhouse need on multiple occasions, including the City of Calgary/Sport Calgary Strategic Plan for Sport Facility Development & Enhancement, it has yet to make any commitment in green lighting the project for development.

CMFS are pleased that the City remains engaged and committed to the process of evaluating next steps in regard to a Fieldhouse at Foothills Athletic Park and an Arena in Victoria Park

“The Fieldhouse should be the #1 priority for any sports facility related tax payer dollars or City financial support. While CMFS appreciates, and agrees with the need for a new Arena/Events Center we do not support this potential public/private facility receiving go ahead before Calgary’s first and only Multisport Fieldhouse. Understanding the far-reaching implications of this decision and the complexity attached, we are advocating City Council to act with urgency in committing to a funded Fieldhouse prior to the October Civic Elections.”  states Jason Zaran, Chair of the Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society.

Any potential location for the Multisport Fieldhouse must be carefully evaluated & compared using the same five major criteria to meet the requirements of amateur sport and the general public:

1)    Fieldhouse amenities and program requirements

2)    Public/amateur sport users’ ease of access & parking

3)    Wide primetime availability for public & amateur sport groups

4)    Affordable rates & fees and long term guarantees

5)    Governance model to serve the needs of user groups

CMFS will continue to work closely with the City of Calgary and Sport Calgary in support of this much needed facility.  To that end, engagement with our user groups and key stakeholders within the Province is paramount as we look to take our Society’s mandate from that of advocacy to one of execution. This will ensure all programming and corresponding design details assist in the most optimal facility experience while keeping the core vision and must have criteria focused on the benefit for all Calgarians.  Together we can enhance our city and benefit future generations with the foremost Multisport Fieldhouse facility of its kind in the world.   

Please contact CMFS for further information or media interviews.

Donna Dixon, Communications Director on behalf of the CMFS Board of Directors

contact@calgaryfieldhouse.ca

www.calgaryfieldhouse.ca

 

 

 

Calgary Herald Article, June 18

Sport Calgary wants council to decide on field house before October election

BRYAN PASSIFIUME
More from Bryan Passifiume

Published on: June 18, 2017 | Last Updated: June 18, 2017 8:26 PM MDT

Calgary’s sports advocate group is urging city council to make commitments on new sports facilities before October’s election.

A news release issued Friday by Sport Calgary is urging city council to approve a new field house — which had been included as part of the contentious CalgaryNEXT proposal — before the next municipal election. 

“The time has come for fact-based decisions that enable city council to define Calgary’s future as a healthy and robust city,” said Sport Calgary CEO Murray Sigler.

“More than ever that future needs sport, including both a multi-sport field house and a new arena/events centre.”

Coun. Jim Stevenson said the field house, which sports a price tag upwards of $200 million, still ranks very high on city hall’s priority list.

“It’s the No. 1 item on our list of things to do,” he said. 

“Securing the land of where it’s going to go is one of the things being talked about.”

One of those sites is the old Burns Stadium site near 24th Avenue and Crowchild Trail N.W., just southeast of the University of Calgary campus and adjacent to McMahon Stadium.

“I don’t think we’ve shirked our responsibility on this, I think it’s still in the forefront,” Stevenson said.

“I think we’re looking all those things, including a fix-up of McMahon Stadium as well, because that’s part and parcel of the deal.”

Keeping the field house close to the U of C is also a priority for Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra, who said that location is vital in ensuring it gets used to its fullest potential. 

“It’s unfortunate that CalgaryNEXT attached the field house to their project,” he said.

“The thing that makes the field house pencil-out, and not even financially but from a utilization perspective, is if it’s up by the university.”

He agreed that keeping the facility near the university is the best return on the project’s hefty investment.

“If it doesn’t sit right next to the university, and is plugged in to the kinesiology work of the university, it’s going to sit empty for too many hours of every day.”

Sticking to CalgaryNEXT’s original plan of co-locating it with a new arena in the West Village would be too far to be of practical and convenient use to U of C students, Carra added.

“I appreciate Sport Calgary’s advocacy for the field house, I’m a huge supporter and champion of that, but I also feel we need a new arena,” he said.

“But I’m not a champion of public dollars for that.”

Carra maintains that while council is still supportive of the field house project, he doubts council is in a financial position to provide a sound, set solution before October’s election. 

“I absolutely believe the field house proposal is our single-most important unfunded recreation project,” he said. 

“It’s at the top of the unfunded list, and it needs to be moved to the funded list.”

bpassifiume@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

CMFS AGM on May 2

2017 Annual General Meeting of the Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 7 pm

Molson Coors Canada Pub

906 1 Ave. N.E.

Calgary, Alberta

The AGM will include an update on the Multisport Fieldhouse project. Our guest speaker will be 2016 Olympic Champion and Alberta Sport Connection board member Erica Wiebe.  All are welcome to attend the AGM. 

In order to vote at the AGM, you must be a 2017 CMFS member.  Group & individual membership purchase will be available at the AGM and is also available online:

www.calgaryfieldhouse.ca/membership/

RSVP to contact@calgaryfieldhouse.ca

 

 

Great Editorial by Murray Sigler of Sport Calgary

Thoughtful Calgary Herald editorial by Murray Sigler of Sport Calgary about the need for a Multisport Fieldhouse: 

Sigler: City needs a field house — and a new home for Flames

By Murray Sigler

Last April, Sport Calgary advocated for a non-confrontational dialogue between the City of Calgary and the Flames ownership group to objectively address several critical questions regarding the CalgaryNEXT proposal, and to consider the merits of a so-called Plan B scenario to address the pressing need for both a multi-sport field house and a new arena for our Flames.

Much has transpired for our city over the course of this past year. Despite Calgary’s languishing economy, some encouraging signs and significant opportunities are beginning to emerge.

In 2016, our population continued to grow in both numbers and diversity, to more than 1.2 million. We have celebrated the opening of our beautiful new airport terminal, as well as the National Music Centre, the Calgary Film Centre, improvements at the Calgary Zoo and Calgary Stampede, expansion of many parks and an extension of the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway, new bike paths, as well as beginning construction of an amazing new public library.

 Reflecting our inherent strengths, Calgary was judged one of the top five most livable cities in the world in the annual Economist magazine rankings. Of the dozens of criteria required for that distinction, more than half relate to sport and sport infrastructure.

 

Thanks to the long-term vision of our city leadership, major new community facilities recently coming on line include Shouldice Park, Calgary Tennis Centre, Remington YMCA and Great Plains. Work continues on Rocky Ridge and Seton community facilities, set to open in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

We know that sport is a major economic driver in a city such as Calgary. Indeed, over the past year, various major sport events such as the Shaw Charity Classic, Spruce Meadows Masters Tournament, Mitchell Bowl, Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, Mac’s AAA Hockey Tournament and ISU World Cup Short Track Speed Skating competition have brought hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefit throughout multiple sectors.

As discussions continued with the city, the Flames teams and their owners have continued to make a huge contribution to the community. The Calgary Flames Foundation has contributed $2.7 million in the past year alone. As always, the Flames, Stampeders, Hitmen and Roughnecks, along with their team members, have been engaged personally in our community and have served as important role models for our kids. In so many ways, Calgary sport needs the Flames.

Without question, Calgary is a proud sport city, with a large number of Calgarians directly involved at least recreationally. Approximately 380,000 Calgarians are registered in some 90 sports on offer by one of the more than 400 sport organizations in Calgary. Affordable, accessible sport and wellness opportunities are vital to the quality of life for all Calgarians.

Sport is vitally important at all times, but even more so to our growing population in this tough economic climate.

As for that multi-sport field house, over the past year, Sport Calgary and its member organizations, led by the Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society, have been actively engaged as stakeholders in the dialogue, and understand the complexity of the issues.

We continue to advocate for an outcome that addresses five must-haves for any multi-sport field house proposal, including concerns regarding amenities, ease of access, affordability, public availability and governance to help ensure that public funds are spent for public good.

In that context, the time has come for the city and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. to answer those outstanding questions in a fact-based manner that enables city council to quickly set clear directions and make the necessary decisions that are essential elements to helping define Calgary’s future as a healthy and robust city.

More than ever, that future needs sports, including both a multi-sport field house and a new arena for our Flames.

 Murray Sigler is CEO of  Sport Calgary, a volunteer, non-profit society that is the voice of amateur sport in the city.

 

 

 

CMFS Update 2017

CMFS has been working since 2008 to promote the construction of a Multisport Fieldhouse.  Calgary is the only major “winter” city in Canada without a fieldhouse facility. Because of our often challenging weather and growing population, indoor sports facilities are greatly needed to serve amateur sport groups and active people of all ages.  The proposed facility contains a 400m indoor track, a full-size turf infield, demountable stands, and attached gymnasia.

The City of Calgary has confirmed the Multisport Fieldhouse need on multiple occasions including the City of Calgary/Sport Calgary Strategic Plan for Sport Facility Development & Enhancement. In 2013, a Fieldhouse was confirmed as the first priority to be built in any redevelopment of city lands at Foothills Athletics Park.  A Fieldhouse is listed among the highest priority projects in the 2015 Unified List of Unfunded Capital Requirements.

We have engaged the support of 25 amateur sport associations representing approximately 200,000     members in Calgary and throughout Alberta. All agree that improved indoor training & competition space in Calgary is urgently needed.  A fieldhouse has tremendous sports tourism potential as a venue for major tournaments and other events.

We are pleased that the City is proceeding to evaluate CalgaryNEXT and an alternative Plan B to construct sports facilities including a Multisport Fieldhouse.  We anticipate the next report on major sports facilities in early 2017 and a decision on the best route forward to serve the needs of all potential users. 

Any potential location for the Multisport Fieldhouse must be carefully evaluated & compared using the same five major criteria to meet the requirements of amateur sport and the general public:

1)      Fieldhouse amenities and program requirements

2)      Public/amateur sport users’ ease of access & parking

3)      Wide primetime availability for public & amateur sport groups

4)      Affordable rates & fees and long term guarantees

5)      Governance model to serve the needs of user groups

Wherever the facility is located, the general public and amateur sports groups must have wide primetime access to the Multisport Fieldhouse at an affordable cost.     

We have asked City Council to act with urgency in confirming the location of the Multisport Fieldhouse and capital funding. We don’t want to lose the momentum that has grown to proceed with the Fieldhouse project. 

CMFS is continuing to do all it can as a non-profit volunteer run organization to promote the construction of the Multisport Fieldhouse.  Moving forward we are committed to involvement in the programming and design details to ensure that the facility serves the needs of user groups.   

We will continue to work closely with the City of Calgary and Sport Calgary in support of this long needed facility to benefit athletes of all ages. Thank you to all our supporters. 

Please contact us if you would like any further information contact@calgaryfieldhouse.ca

 

 

CMFS Statement on CalgaryNEXT and Plan B

A Multisport Fieldhouse is urgently needed to serve amateur sport groups and all active Calgarians.

We are pleased that the City is proceeding to evaluate CalgaryNEXT and an alternative Plan B to construct sports facilities including a Multisport Fieldhouse.  We look forward to the report in October and a decision at that time on the best route forward to serve the needs of all Calgarians. 

Both options must be carefully evaluated & compared using the same five major criteria for a Multisport Fieldhouse to meet the requirements of amateur sport:

1)      Fieldhouse amenities and program requirements

2)      Public/amateur sport users’ ease of access & parking

3)      Wide primetime availability for public & amateur sport groups

4)      Affordable rates & fees and long term guarantees

5)      Governance model to serve the needs of user groups

Wherever the facility is located, the general public and amateur sports groups must have wide access to the Multisport Fieldhouse at an affordable cost.  

We ask City Council to act with urgency in confirming the location of the Multisport Fieldhouse and capital funding to construct it.

We will continue to work closely with the City of Calgary and Sport Calgary in support of this long needed facility to benefit all Calgarians. 

Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society Response to CalgaryNEXT Phase One Analysis Report

Calgary urgently requires a Multisport Fieldhouse to serve the needs of active Calgarians of all ages.  We are pleased that the CalgaryNEXT proposal and analysis framework have brought this issue to the forefront.  We ask that all decision makers keep this need in mind as they assess the CalgaryNEXT Phase One Report and act with urgency in confirming the location for the Multisport Fieldhouse and identifying funding options.

A Multisport Fieldhouse has been at the top of the City priority list for several years but is as yet unfunded.  CMFS and its many supporting amateur sports groups have advocated for a Multisport Fieldhouse for many years and we will continue our efforts inclusive of investigating, financing and facilitating construction to begin as soon as possible.   

As set out in our response to the Phase One Analysis, we believe that the CSEC made good initial efforts to address the major concerns for amateur sport users: 

 

  • Multisport amenities and programming requirements
  • Access to site and adequate parking
  • Wide availability for public use at prime time
  • Affordability
  • Governance model for management & operations

These concerns must be addressed no matter where the Multisport Fieldhouse is located.  The general public must have wide access to the facility at an affordable cost.   

We will continue to work closely with the City of Calgary and Sport Calgary and greatly appreciate their work in support of this long needed facility.

Jason Zaran

Chair, Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society