A third party is trying to help get a deal for a new Calgary arena completed.
It might have been the Fourth of July holiday in the United States but it was no holiday in Canada and that is when Calgary politicians, the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames ownership and a third party began discussing building a new arena for the team. There won’t be much news until September when the three sides will meet again. What is another couple months in a saga that has gone on for years? When we last left the city and the hockey team ownership at the end of 2021, the two sides broke off the engagement that would have seen the construction of an arena. Flames ownership did not want to pay for cost overruns of the construction, after all Flames ownership agreed to pay half of the estimated $608.5 million Canadian cost. The arena project was dead but arena projects never die.
Flames’ owners have been pushing Calgary city elected officials to fund a building for years. Flames’ ownership wanted a revenue generating arena but needed to get some public loonies from the city to subsidize the building’s cost. In 2017, the Flames’ ownership threw in the towel and decided to end talks with Calgary elected officials and said they were going back to the old arena. The owners would move the franchise but cooler heads prevailed and the two sides spoke again. Two years later, in 2019, the two sides reached an agreement to build an arena. In 2021, the two sides hit a speed bump delaying construction. In July, it was full speed ahead for a new Calgary Flames building. The Flames ownership is for now using the city owned arena that they currently play in and will eventually get the new building. The latest set of negotiations are continuing only with a neutral third-party facilitator helping the two sides. The arena game continues.
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