City council has signed off on a deal to build a $550 million event centre in Calgary and the decision means the Saddledome's days as an NHL arena are numbered.

Construction on Calgary’s Saddledome, or the Olympic Coliseum, as it was called back then, started on July 29th, 1981. Almost 38 years later to the day, on July 30th of this year, council officially agreed to build the arena’s replacement.

In an 11-4 vote on Tuesday afternoon, city council decided in favour of the deal to build the facility in east Victoria Park. 

The new home for the Calgary Flames won’t be completed until 2024, but it means the Saddledome’s days are numbered. It’s slated to be demolished when the new rink opens its doors.

“It will be very much like a member of the family is gone,” said Josh Traptow of the Calgary Heritage Authority.

“It’s been on the skyline for the vast majority of Calgarians’ lives and it will be the first major building that we’ll lose from the skyline.”