If you like professional ice hockey, then I recommend going downtown and see the local Calgary Flames.
I happen to be a big fan of the flames and enjoy a night out, having a few drinks, something to eat and watching a good game of hockey. Depending on where you sit in the Saddledome, the prices are quite reasonable, even for the family($15-25each).
***UPDATE**** The Calgary Flames are currently playing the Detriot Red Wings in round one of this year playoffs. The first two games didn't go to good for the Flames, hopefully they can rebound in the next games at home.....GO FLAMES GO!!!!
Equipment: Everything from food to jerseys can be purchased in the concourse of the Saddledome.
Calgary was the first Canadian city to host the winter olympic games in 1988. The park offers competition training, sport and recreation year round for athletes and the general public. Naturally, in winter it is a popular place for skiing and snowboarding. When the snow has gone, the park offers mountain biking with 25 kilometres of single and open track trails.
Equipment: All sports equipment is available for hire in the park.
This is the club I have worked part time at for over 2 years. It is a fitness club that specializes in squash, and even has a squash pro on site. However, most of the members don't even play sqhuash, and come for the fitness club and amenities it offers.
It is a higher priced fitness club located in Bankers Hall Downtown, and has a general area as well as an executive area with hot tubs, saunas and its own equipment (mens side and ladies side).
Its a great place if you want an upper scale health club, and if you say you know me, they will be extra helpful (either that or kick you out-I am known as the employee with theo loudest laugh and the most tasteless jokes...c'est la vie:))
Equipment: The busiest time of day here is before 9 am or during the lunch hour, due to the fact it is in the downtown core. But due to the fact that there are a variety of machines and classes provided, it is never a long wait to get onto a piece of equipment. There is also a swimming pool and free towl service. Laundry service is provided on request as well.
Unfortuntaley, it is a private club, so unless you know a member or have guest passes, you are unable to just drop in.
In July and August rafting is popular on the Bow and Elbow Rivers. The Elbow is quite tranquil and is popular for tubing because in most places you can literally walk across the river. The Bow river is much wider, colder and has a strong current so rafts should be used in preferences to inner tubes. People have drowned on the Bow river, as recently as this year (2005), so understand the risks before having your fun.
For the Elbow River, start just below the Glenmore Dam, and sail down to Stanley Park or Lindsay Park. On the Bow, start at either Bearspaw Dam or Bowness Park, and float down to Princes Island Park. The Bow also has a weir (small dam) across the river, just below the Zoo. If you sail down this far, be sure to get to the right (south) bank where there is a portage across the dam.
Equipment: Please note that persons occupying a vessel while on Calgary waterways must wear a life jacket (personal floatation device). This City of Calgary By-Law is enforced by the Calgary Police Service in conjunction with the Calgary Fire Department. The Calgary Fire Department regularly patrols the Bow River in a power boat and persons not in compliance with the life jacket ruling will be subject to fines.
Calgary's football team started in 1909 -- that's football as in rugby. The team joined the CFL (Canadian Football League) -- as in American style football, in 1945.
You can now catch the Stampeders in action at McMahon Stadium during the summer into fall. Single game tickets are $27.00 to $55.00, and the big game to catch is usually the Labor Day Classic (held on Labor Day in September) where the Stamps play their arch enemies, the Edmonton Eskimos.
Calgary has two major hockey teams -- The Calgary Flames and The Calgary Hitmen. The Calgary Flames are in the National Hockey League, and were acquired from Atlanta, Georgia in 1994. The Hitmen are in the Western Hockey League, which is a junior league.
The games are held in The Pengrowth Saddledome-- The building is a landmark in Calgary, with it's distinctive design -- like a saddle.
My husband and I are more fans of The Calgary Hitmen, as decent Flames's tickets prices have become almost unaccessible -- also the action is better with the Hitmen as they are looking to get drafted to the NHL. A single Hitmen ticket is about $15.00, where a Flames ticket in the "nosebleed" section of the Saddledome is $32.00; good seats going for around $100.00. With the Hitmen tickets, you can basically sit anywhere you want. Attend a Hitmen game to get more bang for your buck.
If you need an equipment rental for your sport, the Outdoor Centre Equipment Rental in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary offers the most cheapest rates. For example, if you want to try hiking, they rent out hiking boots and backpacks. Also, they offer outings as well, so if you've never gone hiking, or canoeing, or kayaking, you can learn how, or if you know how, and don't have anyone to go with, you can go with a group. I've found the leaders knowledgeable and friendly. For a complete list of the equipment they carry, go the website below.
If you're into rock climbing, or want to try it, they also have an indoor climbing wall.
Calgary has ~580km of pathways and ~260 km of on-street bikeways. The most beautiful (and popular) routes are along the waterways (Bow river, Elbow river, Glenmore reservoir, Fish creek). In high traffic areas, there are separate side-by-side pathways for those on foot and those on wheels. The major routes are available year round as snow is cleared off 42 km of the pathway system during the winter months. You haven’t seen a dedicated cyclist until you’ve seen a small head lamp bouncing down an icy trail at 6am in the morning when the temperature is -25C. A map of the bicycle routes & pathways is available here.
If you like tennis, there's no reason to miss a game in Calgary. There are approx 160 free tennis courts located all over the city, and it's first come, first served. As a courtesy, if there's others waiting, people limit their game to 30 minutes. However, if the court is busy, there's usually more tennis courts in the area if you look.
I have always wanted to attend a pro hockey game and I got the opportunity to do just that this on New Years Eve (2002). The Calgary Flames played to a 1 - 1 tie against the Montréal Canadiens.
Equipment: Bring gear to support the team and warm clothes as it can get chilly in the Saddledome because of the ice
Tennis season in Calgary, is generally from May through October. The City of Calgary maintains about 160 tennis courts at 50 sites around Calgary. The courts are freely available on a first come, first served basis. However, players are asked to limit their time to 30 minutes if there are other players waiting.
Calgary’s golf season runs from April until October. That’s not a lot of time, but dedicated golfers make the most of it. There are ~60 courses in or near the city. Eight of those courses are run by the City of Calgary and offer computerized booking allowing you to book over the phone up to four days in advance. Club rentals are available at some courses, but check in advance when booking a tee time. During the off season, there are in door driving ranges and simulators to keep your game from going into the rough.
With two Olympic size pools, a dive tank, indoor track and gym, the Talisman Centre has become the second most widely visited multi-sport facility in North America. Run by a the non-profit organization, the facility offers world class athletic development as well as circuit training, weight room, drop-in classes or personal training. I always enjoyed playing volleyball at the centre… there was no way the ball could hit the ceiling.
Calgary hasn’t been good to its baseball teams. We’re working on our third team, since the stadium was built. Currently up to bat, it’s the Calgary Vipers professional baseball team, a member of the AA Northern League. The league is made up of eight teams in the northern US and Western Canada. If you’re in town on a sunny day between the end of May and the beginning of September, you might want to consider heading to the park for a beer and watch the game.
Cricket is almost unknown in Calgary but the Calgary and District Cricket League has been playing for over 100 years. The 300 members play at Riley Park on weekends from late May to September. Admission is free but bring your own seat unless you’d prefer to sit on the grass.