No never means no.
In sports when it comes to venue public funding and negotiations, no never means no. Calgary elected officials are back at the negotiating table talking to the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames ownership about forming a partnership that could produce a new arena in the city for the team and other activities such as concerts and ice shows. Flames ownership and city elected officials were discussing plans for a new building in 2016 and 2017 with a major project called Calgary Next that would have included an arena and a Canadian Football League state of the art stadium. Calgary politicians really didn’t want to throw taxpayers money into the project.
In September, 2017, the Flames ownership group threw in the towel and decided to walk away from Calgary elected officials and said they were going back to the old arena and that was it. Of course, in sports no owner ever walks away from the table stomping his or her feet and says I am not talking to you about you spending money for my factory ever again. In April, 2017, Flames Chief Executive Officer Ken King expressed unhappiness with local elected officials’ refusal to help fund the Calgary Next project. Then Flames President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke said that the team would be gone without a new building and even suggested a possible landing spot, Quebec City. King immediately contradicted Burke saying Burke was not the organization’s arena negotiating mouthpiece. But King and Burke were reading off the same script. “There would be no threat to move, we would just move,” King said. “And it would be over. And I’m trying my level best to make sure that day never comes, frankly.” There was a 13 month cooling off period. Both sides are back at the table but one thing is certain, Flames ownership wants public money for their arena.