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Angela Kokott: Nenshi proposal even better than ‘Plan B’

Not just an arena- a revitalized Olympic Plaza, expanded Arts Commons and a larger BMO centre.
Not just an arena- a revitalized Olympic Plaza, expanded Arts Commons and a larger BMO centre. DAVE BUSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Election season doesn’t officially begin until next week, but that hasn’t stopped Mayor Naheed Nenshi from rolling out his solution for Calgary’s arena dilemma.  Campaigns are a chance for all candidates to do a little blue-sky thinking; after all, we want to know the vision of the person we’re electing.

READ MORE: The Calgary municipal election is starting to heat up

Nenshi is proposing a new arena be built in Victoria Park. Nothing new with that idea. However, the mayor wants to see the arena as part of a much bigger project that would include a revitalized Olympic Plaza, expanded Arts Commons and a larger BMO Centre.

 WATCH BELOW: Mayor Nenshi gives a rundown of his vision for Calgary Next

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There are still a lot of questions surrounding the project: namely, ‘How much?’ and ‘Who’s paying?’ But, I have to say that unlike the original CalgaryNext project, which I questioned right from the start, this project makes sense.

READ MORE: Brett Wilson is slamming Nenshi for not working faster to build a new arena

The city has already invested a lot in the East Village. We’ve seen life breathed into what has been a derelict community for many years. The mayor’s proposal would simply extend that revitalization.

We still need McMahon Stadium upgraded, and a fieldhouse. But, on the arena front we already have one candidate throwing out his idea. Before Oct. 16, we’ll see what his opponents are envisioning.

READ MORE: Brian Burke wants our taxpayer dollars to help pay for the new arena