“It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again In The Calgary Arena Story

It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

The old philosopher Lawrence Peter Berra once said, “it ain’t over till its over” and that certainly applies in Calgary in the on-going saga of how to build the Calgary Flames ownership group a new arena. 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. Since July, the estimated cost of the project rose 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.”

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 will for now use the city owned arena that they currently pay in and probably will meet with city officials about building a new arena once the city gets its why we need a new arena story straight. The arena game continues.

Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191  

(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)