Most Calgarians back new arena, as long as it does not affect taxes: survey

Click to play video: 'Majority of Calgarians support new arena, but not by increasing taxes' Majority of Calgarians support new arena, but not by increasing taxes
WATCH ABOVE: A new survey shows most Calgarians believe the Saddledome is only meeting "some" of Calgary's needs. Gary Bobrovitz reports – May 11, 2017

According to an independent survey measuring the appetite for a new arena, most residents believe Calgary needs a new facility.

The survey by Mainstreet Research was commissioned by eight City of Calgary councillors and a report was presented to the group Thursday. The results show 50 per cent of respondents feel Calgary does need a new arena, 32 per cent said the city does not need a new arena and 17 per cent of respondents do not have an opinion.

In March, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi told reporters that plans to build a new home for the Calgary Flames in the city’s West Village are “dead.” Instead, city council has voted to continue working on a proposed arena site in Victoria Park.

One other key finding from the survey suggested a majority of respondents would support a decision by the city to help with the construction of a new arena, as long as it did not impact their taxes.

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60 per cent of respondents were in favour of the city providing land or using savings for an arena project. Of the remaining 40 per cent, respondents were split between being against those measures of support or having no opinion on the matter.

“While Calgarians want to see world-class facilities, they also want to make sure that public funds are being used in a responsible manner.” Councillor Shane Keating said.

READ MORE: Calgary pursues ‘Victoria Park option’ for new arena: ‘This needs to happen sooner than later’

According to Mainstreet Research, respondents have a negative opinion of the Saddledome, with only one in five people categorizing the venue as adequate. Just over 40 per cent of those people asked believe the Saddledome meets only “some” of Calgary’s needs.

The Calgary Arena survey was conducted between April 24 to 26, 2017 by Mainstreet Research through Chimera IVR. A random sample of 5,061 respondents were contacted on landline and cellphones, and quotas were set for specific wards in the city of Calgary.

With files from Melissa Gilligan

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