City unveils 50-year plan for Victoria Park and fate of Saddledome

They might bulldoze the ‘dome and put up a parking lot.

The city has released details of its 50-year master plan for the Rivers District and it appears big things are in the works to transform Victoria Park into a bustling arts and entertainment district.

A lengthy 244-page document shows how the city could turn 4th Street S.E. between 12th and 17th Avenues into Stampede Trail — “an iconic festival street” not unlike Stephen Avenue which can be “closed to traffic and function as an urban plaza for special events.”

The River Districts Master Plan will go before the Calgary Planning Commission today, and if given the green light will then go to council for approval.

The plan outlines how traffic in Rivers District and the area surrounding the Saddledome will be overhauled to re-connect the area with the city grid.

Improvements will be made to 1st Avenue and 12th Avenue will be extended. The new Stampede Trail would be connected to 17th Avenue S.E. while a new underpass will link up with Macleod Trail and 5th Street S.E.

The plan also shows the fate of the Calgary Flames home rink but doesn’t give any concrete details about a new arena.

The Saddledome is notably absent from some of the artists’ renderings of Stampede Park, replaced by a parking lot.

The 50-year plan shows the Saddledome still standing in 10 year’s time, but then is replaced by the “flexible flat space” another 10 years later.

Talks between the city and the Calgary Flames around a new arena for the team stalled in 2017.

But in October, council chose to proceed with plans to “re-engage in partnership conversations” with the owners of the Flames.

More to come …

RRumbolt@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @RCRumbolt

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