On Thursday, all eyes were turned to Seattle, as another step toward putting another NHL team in the Pacific Northwest after the group led by billionaire David Bonderman and filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer submitted an expansion application to the league in February was underway. The Los Angeles-based Oak View Group revealed on Twitter that it reached its initial goal of 10,000 deposits in 12 minutes. and finally received more than 25,000 deposits for season tickets through a ticket drive.
With all these new developments in Seattle, Flames fans cannot help but think of what is supposed to be happening with their arena in Calgary... The feud has not been resolved between Flames ownership and city mayor Naheed Nenshi’s, and now NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is heading to Calgary.
But, don't get too excited, it has reportedly nothing to do with the pursuit of a new arena...
“I’ll get an update from the Flames. (But) they’re no longer pursuing an arena in Calgary, so there is really nothing to talk about,” Bettman told media members during a press conference on Thursday while speaking to the Chamber of Commerce in Edmonton following the 2019 NHL Draft announcement.
Now, you may want to get your tissues out (;)) as Bettman went on to explain how the saga in Calgary has been affecting him and the process.
"I can only assist when there's a will and an invitation," Bettman said.
"I have been accused of all sorts of evil things south of here, so I am not even weighing in. I mean, suffice it to say the Flames have given up pursuing a new arena and that's where things are."
Last fall, the Flames pulled out of talks with the City of Calgary, claiming negotiations were going nowhere on reaching a deal to build a new facility to replace the 34-year-old Scotiabank Saddledome.
Bettman has said previously that playing in the Saddledome threatens the team's ability to compete, however, the team stated that it will continue operations there for as long as the Flames can remain viable in the market. When needed, they would look at other options.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi has said the Flames' proposal for a $500-million arena places a heavy tax burden on the city, but the Flames say the city's plan would ultimately see the team foot the entire cost of construction. So, in which court is the ball at the moment, media members asked...
“There is no court. The team has decided there is no point in continuing to pursue a new arena,” said Bettman, who went on to say he has no plans to meet with the City.
No court? Media pressed and asked if talks with the City of Calgary are dead:
“You’ll have to talk to the Flames about this, but they have said notwithstanding the fact that they’re playing in the league’s oldest building they are going to do the best they can for as long as they can,” he answered.
This looks promising...