Things appear to be getting back on track in Calgary. After negotiations between the two parties collapsed last year after Flames' CEO Ken King said the city's offer to share costs was short of what the team needed, there are now encouraging developments in the saga.
On Tuesday, the Calgary city council voted 13 to 1 to restart talks with the Calgary Flames about a new arena in Victoria Park. According to many sources, "an event centre at the heart of a larger revitalized commercial and residential district east of downtown was presented in chambers Tuesday."
"What’s attractive is we’re not talking about just developing a one-off event centre," Coun. Jeff Davison said to reporters after the meeting.
"We’re actually talking about how do we actually build this into a district that adds value for every single Calgarians.
"This isn’t just a hockey deal. This is a land deal and that’s what’s important to note about this one."
As for the Flames, King said he has no comment other than he looks forward to hearing from the city.
There have been talks concerning a new building to house the NHL team since the fall of 2017, when replacing the 35-year-old Saddledome became civic election fodder.
Here are the details from the saga, according to the latest reports from Sportsnet:
Before talks broke off, CSEC had offered to put $275-million into a new $500-million arena built on the east side of the downtown just north the Saddledome, and said the city should raise the remaining $225-million through a community revitalization levy.
A CRL allows the city to divert property taxes from new development that would theoretically spring up around a new arena into paying for it.
The city had proposed a three-way split on the cost of a $555-million arena, with the city and the Flames each paying $185 million and the remaining third raised from a surcharge on tickets.
The Victoria Park location for an arena came after an $890-million CalgaryNext project pitched by the Flames in 2015. That concept included a hockey arena, football stadium and field house on the west side of downtown.
Flames owners offered $200-million of their own money and proposed a $250-million loan be repaid through a ticket surcharge.
CalgaryNext was put on the back burner when council determined the project would cost as much as $1.8 billion, due to remediation of creosote-soaked soil on site.
This is surely exciting news for Flames fans who have been wondering what will happen next to their beloved team. Now that both sides appear to be willing to pick talks back up, we bet a plan will be put together to help the Flames succeed in Calgary.