CALGARY - A deal to build a new arena in downtown Calgary is official after definitive agreements were signed between the city, the Calgary Flames hockey organization and the Calgary Stampede.

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The deal to build a new arena downtown is official after definitive agreements were signed between the city, the Calgary Flames organization and Calgary Stampede. Steam rises from buildings near the Saddledome in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The deal to build a new arena downtown is official after definitive agreements were signed between the city, the Calgary Flames organization and Calgary Stampede. Steam rises from buildings near the Saddledome in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY - A deal to build a new arena in downtown Calgary is official after definitive agreements were signed between the city, the Calgary Flames hockey organization and the Calgary Stampede.

The announcement to replace the 36-year-old Scotiabank Saddledome was made on social media by Coun. Jeff Davison.

"It's certainly a historic day for the City of Calgary," Davison said Thursday. "We have, for the past two years, been working on putting together something transformational for the city."

In the agreement, the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, which owns the Flames, and the City of Calgary will equally split the cost of the $550-million facility. The 35-year deal also keeps the Flames in Calgary for that time.

The project is part of a revitalization plan for the downtown. The building will become the home of the Flames and will be part of a planned entertainment district bordering the Stampede grounds.

"We've never been out to try and develop a single-use hockey arena," said Davison.

"We have always said that this is beyond hockey. This is really about transforming Calgary's downtown to become the cultural and entertainment district that we always wanted it to be."

Construction on the 19,000-seat arena is expected to begin in 2021 just north of where the Saddledome currently sits.

The Saddledome, Davison said, will be demolished sometime between 2024 and 2025.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2019.