The long journey may be ending.
In the proverbial “good things come to those who wait” department, the owners of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames franchise seem to be on the road to getting a new arena. This has been a long row to hoe for Flames ownership as the group has been looking for arena funding for years. It is estimated that the cost of the arena construction will be around $1.22 billion Canadian with the team owners, the city of Calgary and the province of Alberta picking up the tab. 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. The Calgary Flames owners waited and got a deal with government funding.
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