Why you won’t hear city council use the ‘A word’ in new arena talks


Calgary is opting to replace the Saddledome, a prime arena used for many NHL tournaments. The real issue is, who should pay for it? Mark Rosentraub, Sport Management professor at University of Michigan, has consulted with Calgary on the current plan. To fund its $600 million replacement, he suggests creating a multi-purpose venue that hosts more than sports events. "You try to connect the dots: you want to create a city that attracts the human capital that’s going to drive the city in the future,” Rosentraub said.


Rosentraub worked for the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation for approximately 18 months, where the contract ended in June 2018. He and his team built a series of monetization models to estimate the likely revenues from the new venue as well as the venue's economic impact, the foregone income from the use of an economically obsolete facility, the demand for housing, etc. "It is always an issue regarding whether or not there should be public participation (and to what extent) in paying for (or maintaining) a venue used by a profitable business (including hockey) with well compensated employees (players)".

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