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Construction crews break ground in preparation for Calgary's new arena

Calgary's new, 18,000-seat arena will be located north of the Scotiabank Saddledome. Its construction is set to begin later this year. (Mike Symington/CBC - image credit)
Calgary's new, 18,000-seat arena will be located north of the Scotiabank Saddledome. Its construction is set to begin later this year. (Mike Symington/CBC - image credit)

The groundwork for the new arena is officially underway.

The City of Calgary's project lead for the event centre, Bob Hunter, says contractor crews have started the "infrastructure enabling" process.

"And that is the relocation of utilities, waterworks, underground services, all of the things that now exist on Fifth Street, which will be relocated over to what will be the new street, 5A," he said.

Calgarians can expect to see some reconfiguration of the streets in Victoria Park around the event centre site.

Fifth Street S.E., located between 14th and 12 avenues S.E., will be closed to make room for the event centre site, where a new 5A Street S.E. will be developed.

The new arena will be built on top of Fifth Street S.E., located right between 14th and 12 Avenues S.E., and a new 5A Street S.E. will be created. The preliminary construction is set to be finished in April.
The new arena will be built on top of Fifth Street S.E., located right between 14th and 12 Avenues S.E., and a new 5A Street S.E. will be created. The preliminary construction is set to be finished in April.

The preliminary work is slated to be complete by the start of April. (Mike Symington/CBC)

But the street will only be a temporary road to start, to allow for construction access once the building of the actual structure begins.

"You don't want to invest in a new street, new asphalt and everything that goes with it, new curbs, if you're going to actually build an 850,000-square-foot arena right beside it," said Hunter.

The project lead says this preliminary work will be finished by the beginning of April.

While the design work for the event centre complex developments are not complete, the city is preparing the area now to assure an orderly start on construction, which is slated to begin later this year.

Costing just over $920 million, the 18,000-seat arena will be located north of the Scotiabank Saddledome, which has been home to the NHL's Calgary Flames for 40 years.