It looks like the Calgary Flames won’t be saying goodbye to the Saddledome after all.
At least not yet.
On Tuesday, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek informed Calgarians that the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) intended to pull the plug on the deal for the city’s new arena deal.
The arena was to be located at the intersection of Olympic Way and 12 Avenue SE, just north of where the Scotiabank Saddledome currently sits, with a capacity of 18,377 for Flames games and 20,203 for concerts.
Gondek said she was in favour of the $550 million deal agreed to in 2019, which would see the team and city splitting the costs. The new Calgary Events Centre received a development permit on November 19, which was one of the final steps needed prior to construction, which was expected to begin next month.
CSEC responded in a statement released on Tuesday evening, saying that their primary objective in pursuing the Event Centre Project has been to provide Calgarians a first class facility with an entertainment experience, not only for hockey, but for other events including concerts, comparable to other major cities.
“However,” reads the statement, “at this point, it is clear that the City and CSEC have been unable to resolve a number of issues relating to the escalating costs of the project.”
With plans for the arena deal falling apart, Calgary Flames fans’ reactions ranged from outrage to relief to disappointment.
Here’s how people reacted on Twitter.
Not a happy flames fan today. Not at all. #CalgaryFlames #yyc #yyccc #NHL pic.twitter.com/PzTMuOWNiX
— The Maven🍻 (@TheBeerMaven) December 22, 2021
Math is hard. Climate mitigation levy $4m, and the city ponied up an extra $6.5m – 6.5 is MORE than 4 so the levy is covered and CSEC are being whiny bitches over the cost of one star player
— withsilverwings (@wsilverwings2) December 22, 2021
Just another step in Calgary becoming a ghost town.
— Morg19 (@19Morganr) December 22, 2021
honestly the Flames being owned by a crypto/NFT bro is really the next logical step for Calgary’s hockey team as man in celebrate moving abandoned O&E explorations sites into bitcoin mining facilities.
— mattyhugh (@mattyhugh) December 22, 2021
Go oilers go lol
— LeeB (@LeeB01673265) December 22, 2021
With the arena deal falling apart in Calgary it’s not too late for the #Flames to use my design for an upgraded retractable roof for the Saddledome. #YYC pic.twitter.com/ZP0KGXldAA
— VisuallyBetter (@Isuckatpicking) December 22, 2021
But if the Flames leave where will I buy over priced beer? OH THE HORROR!!!!
— Northern Guy (@NorthernGuy6) December 22, 2021
I’m not a flames fan nor do I follow what’s going on with them or the city but from what I could understand the deal was a 50/50 at first and when the costs went up a little the city said they couldn’t pay 50% so the flames took the burden and now the city is asking for more?
— Alex (@AGRBuilds) December 22, 2021
“why do the calgary flames need a new arena” the themed toilets are acting up again pic.twitter.com/dKkxv7TqG6
— Ava (@avatarrant) December 22, 2021
World class events & concerts require world class arenas
The saddled one is the second oldest arena in North America (Madison square being the oldest)
Renovating the saddledome in the end isn’t worth the money.
If Calgary doesn’t build a new arena it will eventually hurt
— Ryan (@rdsgonnagetyou) December 22, 2021
At least maybe one day, the new arena in Calgary will get a better design than the one they currently had. Wasn’t a fan of that building at all.
— Vicki (@guithar7) December 22, 2021
If the Flames leave Calgary it will actually be extremely funny
— evan jellicle of christmas present 🍋 (@comradeflint) December 22, 2021
That is the tool used to discourage any development or investment in Calgary.We only want blue rings and bobbing chickens.
— Hal Langager (@pennemy) December 22, 2021
Breaking: The #Flames have released their third design concept for Calgary’s new arena. pic.twitter.com/DrplcBR28V
— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) December 22, 2021