Alberta’s premier wants to prevent the hockey team from moving to Québec City.
They are back at the negotiating table on a monthly basis. Calgary elected officials and negotiators from the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation are talking about building an arena for the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames franchise. Alberta Premier Danielle Smith wants an arena deal done in Calgary because Québec Premier Francois Legault is “very, very keen and he let me know to try to recruit a team to come back to Québec. I do not want to see the Québec Flames. I can tell you that much.” In 2021, The city and the hockey team ownership broke off an 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. This arena project is going to cost more money because of global inflation and higher interest rates than earlier arena proposals.
Flames’ ownership has 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. 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 2021, it was full speed ahead for a new Calgary Flames building. But the deal was not completed. It is back to talking in Calgary.
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