Full Steam Ahead For A New Calgary Arena

Money is available to start construction.

Calgary elected officials and the owners of the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames franchise have figured out how to pay for all of the construction costs of a proposed arena. The two sides reached an impasse in the funding mechanism for the building earlier this month. Each side will kick in $12.5 million or $25 million collectively. The construction was scheduled to start in August with a 2024 completion date but start of construction will happen sometime in 2022. In 2019, the city and the team owners agreed to a plan that would split the cost of the projected $550 million Canadian cost of the building. More money was needed for the project and someone had to pick up the tab. Earlier this year, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation put out a statement saying “there is a difference in the current budget estimate and the program requirements for the facility.” Flames’ owners were pushing the city elected officials to fund a building for years. Flames’ ownership wants 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 and that was it. The owners would move the franchise but cooler heads prevailed and the two sides spoke again.  Of course, in sports no owner ever walks away from the table stomping his or her feet and saying I am not talking to you anymore about you spending money for my factory. Two years later, the two sides reached an agreement to build an arena. In 2021, the two sides hit a speed bump delaying construction but now its full speed ahead for a new Calgary Flames building.  

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Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) celebrates his goal against the Calgary Flames with right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) and center Anthony Cirelli (71) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)