It turns out there could be a new home for the Calgary Stampeders in the works.
It just requires Calgary to get awarded the Winter Olympics for a second time.
During a city council meeting on Monday, it was accidentally revealed that a fieldhouse is one of the major items as part of the ongoing Olympic bid process. The facility is budgeted for $272-million and would have a full-sized field for sports such as soccer, football, field hockey and lacrosse as well as running track. Part of the bid is also a refurbishing of McMahon Stadium, which you will remember was where the opening and closing ceremonies were held during the 1988 Olympics. The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee has said a Foothills fieldhouse would be used for curling and wheelchair events, which means there is one line in there about an ‘ice-plant’ being included in the project.
The timing seems curious for the ‘slip’ seeing as the Stamps are in Ottawa right now ready to contest for the Grey Cup for the third time in four seasons. The Stamps have had such on-field success in recent years it seems natural that the city would support them, and now it appears they have.
Over the past year and a half, the Calgary Flames organization, which owns the Stamps as well, has tried to get funding for a new arena and fieldhouse but have since thrown their hands up in frustration.
When city council turned to a Plan B for the arena project, it appeared the Stamps and their needs were being ignored.
It turns out they were part of a bigger plan – one that reaches a global scale.
Council has approved another $2-million to continue to bid exploration, with $1-million of that coming right away. Mayor Naheed Nenshi has said that it’s clear if Calgary chooses to bid for the 2026 Games, they will get them.
Now the city needs to decide whether it wants the Olympics, which would carry a lot of benefits to many others in Calgary, namely the Stampeders and their fans.