Sport in Calgary
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The Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta, is home to a relatively deep-seated tradition of winter sports. Much of this stems from its location, with proximity to the Alberta Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park. After hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics, the city has also had winter sports and training facilities. Beyond winter sports, Calgary has a number of professional and amateur sports teams and is a major world pro rodeo centre.
Calgary is next to some of the most visited natural scenery in the world. Banff National Park is about 125 km northwest of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway. 30 km west of the city is the town of Bragg Creek. Another 45 km west of Bragg Creek is the Kananaskis Improvement District featuring hiking, horseback riding and mountain-biking trails, camping sites, rock and ice climbing, and cross country skiing. A Provincial shooting range for firearms is located on the highway to Kananaskis.
Many Calgarians and millions of tourists enjoy activities such as biking, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, mountainboarding, camping, and fishing in these parks every year. The town of Banff hosts nearly five million visitors annually.
Calgary boasts a variety of sport leagues in the summer and winter seasons. Australian Football, Soccer, Field Hockey, Basketball, Netball, Lacrosse, Cricket, Futsal, and Volleyball are all available in various locations throughout Calgary
Soccer has grown substantially and is played in both the summer, and indoors in the winter. Two Soccer domes, located in SE and NW Calgary allow for indoor play.
Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. Many of the Olympic facilities continue to function as major high performance training facilities. Among the most notable of these are Canada Olympic Park and the Olympic Oval. Calgary is currently home to the only luge/bobsleigh track and ski jump tower in Canada.
Athletes also take advantage of the high altitude to improve their physical limit. With facilities that are considered to be world-class and proximity to the Canadian Rockies, Calgary attracts athletes from all over Canada and around the world for winter sport training.
Calgary's multipurpose arena, the Scotiabank Saddledome was formerly known as the Olympic Saddledome. The Saddledome was the first modern arena in North America capable of accommodating an Olympic regulation-sized ice rink. Calgary's primary open-air stadium, McMahon Stadium, was the site of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics and is currently the venue for Calgary's Canadian Football League team, the Calgary Stampeders. The stadium has a capacity of nearly 40,000 and is the fifth largest in Canada.
The Olympic Oval is primarily a speed-skating arena that can also accommodate hockey and high-performance training. The rink's ice is world-renowned, and it brings some of the best speed skaters in the world to the facility for training and competition. The Oval has often been touted as having "the fastest ice on Earth" due to the fact that it is a climate-controlled facility and because of the effects of high altitude on the ice surface. As a result, many world records have been broken there. It was at this place where the likes of Catriona LeMay Doan and Cindy Klassen trained for their Olympic and world stardom.
Golf is also a popular sport in Calgary, and there are many courses including the Glencoe Golf and Country Club, Glen Forest and the Calgary Golf and Country Club which have been ranked among the top fifty in Canada.
- Father David Bauer Olympic Arena
- Foothills Stadium
- Spruce Meadows
- Stampede Corral
- Stampede Park Race Track and Grandstand
- Max Bell Centre
- Race City Motorsport Park
- Glenmore Velodrome
- Don Hartman Northeast Sportsplex
Both Calgary and the Canadian Rockies are destinations for cycling and mountain biking. Within Calgary, a large bike path network exists (nearly 600 km) as part of the city's transportation infrastructure. It is used extensively both for commuting to work and for recreation as it connects most of the city's parks. Large parks such as Fish Creek Provincial Park and Nose Hill Park are also major destinations for cyclers.
In the summer, Canada Olympic Park functions as a venue for both cross-country and downhill cycling. The Glenmore Velodrome is an outdoor track facility in the city. The Calgary BMX Association also operates a BMX racing track near Blackfoot Trail.
There is a general cycling advocacy group, Bike Calgary.
Notable sporting events
Calgary hosted the following major North American and International sporting events:
- 1975 Grey Cup
- 1980 Labatt's Brier
- 1985 NHL All-Star Game
- 1985 BWF World Championships
- 1986 Stanley Cup Finals
- 1988 Winter Olympics
- 1989 Stanley Cup Finals
- 1990 FIL World Luge Championships
- 1992 FIBT World Championships (Men's skeleton)
- 1993 FIL World Luge Championships
- 1993 Grey Cup
- 1996 FIBT World Championships
- 1996 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games
- 1997 Labatt's Brier
- 1997 World Police and Fire Games
- 2000 Grey Cup
- 2001 FIBT World Championships (Women's bobsleigh, men's and women's skeleton)
- 2001 FIL World Luge Championships
- 2003 Nokia Brier
- 2004 Stanley Cup Finals
- 2005 FIBT World Championships
- 2006 World Allround Speed Skating Championships
- 2006 ISU World Figure Skating Championships
- 2009 Tim Hortons Brier
- 2009 Grey Cup
- 2012 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
Professional sports teams
|Calgary Flames||National Hockey League||Scotiabank Saddledome||1980*||1|
|Calgary Stampeders||Canadian Football League||McMahon Stadium||1945||6|
|Calgary Roughnecks||National Lacrosse League||Scotiabank Saddledome||2001||2|
|Calgary Vipers||North American League||Foothills Stadium||2005||1|
(*) Established as the Atlanta Flames in 1972.
Amateur and junior clubs
|Calgary Hitmen||Western Hockey League||Pengrowth Saddledome||1995||2|
|Calgary Canucks||Alberta Junior Hockey League||Max Bell Centre||1971||9|
|Calgary Royals||Alberta Junior Hockey League||Father David Bauer Olympic Arena||1990||1|
|Calgary Oval X-Treme||National Women's Hockey League||Olympic Oval||1995||5|
|Calgary Speed Skating Association||Speed Skating Canada||Olympic Oval||1990||>10|
|Calgary Kookaburras||AFL Canada||Queen Elizabeth High School||2007||2|
Major parks in Calgary and vicinity
- Fish Creek Provincial Park, one of Canada's largest provincial park located within a major city
- Nose Hill Park
- Inglewood Bird Sanctuary
- Stanley Park
- Prince's Island Park
- Prairie Winds Park
- Bowness Park
- Edworthy Park
- Battalion Park
- Confederation Park
- Kananaskis Provincial Improvement District, approximately 60 km to the west and southwest
- Banff National Park, approximately 130 km to the west, UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Calgary Stampede
- Mac's AAA midget hockey tournament
- Calgary Junior Hockey League
- Calgary Kookaburras