Calgary Arena Deal Dead

The Flames ownership will continue playing in the city’s old arena.

The city of Calgary and the Calgary Flames ownership group have officially ended the agreement 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. Since July, the estimated cost of the project has risen by more than $25 million Canadian. Ten million dollars Canadian seems like pocket change in the arena building business but the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation put out a statement “there is no viable path to complete the Event Centre Project.” That statement came in the middle of December.

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. In sports no owner ever walks away from the table stomping his or her feet saying I am not talking to you anymore about you spending money for my factory. 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 will for now use the city owned arena and probably will eventually meet with city officials about building a new arena or perhaps renovating the old building. Or Flames ownership could look to move or sell the team. The arena game continues.

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