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 NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is now in Calgary in his Western Canadian media tour.
And though Bettman had previously mentioned he did not want to revisit the the situation, since 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.
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.
However, Bettman took a stab at the issue during his press conference on Friday, saying that the Flames' financial situation "continues to deteriorate" as the team continues to operate out of the aging Scotiabank Saddledome. He also added that he has no hope of foreseeing the situation changing soon.
The commissioner went on to say that he was not present in Calgary to make threats, but managed to paint a bleak picture of the Flames' financial future if it continues to operate out of the NHL's oldest building.
Bettman let fans in Calgary know what could happen if the team, who used to contribute to the NHL's revenue-sharing program, but have become increasingly reliant on it of late, does not fix the arena situation. He started that it could affect the Flames' competitiveness and financial stability in a very near future.