Flames quit negotiations with the city, end pursuit of new arena in Calgary

Sep 21 2017, 10:54 pm

The Calgary Flames are calling it quits (again) on negotiations with the city regarding a new arena at Victoria Park.

The NHL team released a report on Thursday detailing their $275 million offer, with the remaining $225 million being covered by a community revitalization levy from the city.

That offer from the Flames is no longer on the table, as negotiations with the city have turned sour.

Calgary had recently proposed that the funding for the new arena be split equally three ways; between the team, the city, and the arena’s users through a ticket surcharge.

In the report from the Fames, the NHL team saw the ticket surcharge as coming out of their own pocket, along with the impact of incremental property tax leaving the Flames footing more than 100% of the entire bill.

They even included a graph:


Calgary Flames arena report (Calgaryflames.com/arena)

The Flames hoped for a split similar to what happened in 2012 with Edmonton’s new Rogers Place, where almost half of the cost was covered by a community revitalization levy and other public funding.

They state in their report that the CRL would not come from existing taxes, but rather from funding that is created by the new arena and incremental taxes generated from it.

As is, the Flames are saying that they are not planning on going forward with the proposal from the city, as it is not fair to the organization.

“The City’s proposal is just not workable (or even for that matter, “fair”, based on other arena deals in comparable cities). As a result, after over two years of discussions, we see absolutely no basis upon which a new arena agreement can be achieved with the City, and we have concluded that there is no point to continue the pursuit of a new arena in Calgary,” the report read.

“Many, including us, believe Calgary is a terrific place for NHL hockey and we certainly have great fans. As such, we will strive to operate, as we have for the past 34 years, in the Saddledome for as long as we believe it is feasible.”

The report also noted that a privately funded arena would not be economically viable in a “small market’ city, even one with an NHL team,” such as Calgary.

The Sea of Red better get accustomed to crashing in the Saddledome for the time being, though there is rumour that Seattle’s KeyArena –and it’s recent $660 million overhaul – could be a landing spot for the franchise.

Whether this is just posturing, or if one of the NHL’s top ten teams for consistent attendance would actually abandon their home base, is still to be seen, but the guess (and the hope) is the former.

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