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Volume 24 No. 117


The City of Calgary is "offering to pay for one-third of the cost of a new NHL arena" for the Flames, according to Donna Spencer of the CP. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi "revealed details Friday of what the city proposes to pay" for an arena expected to cost $555M (all figures C) in response to the Flames "breaking off talks for a new rink" last week. The Flames "haven’t made their counter-proposal public, but have indicated they want the city to pay closer to half the cost." Nenshi said, "We have to put the emotions aside and we have to determine what is the right thing for Calgary, what is the right thing for the citizens, what is the right thing for the taxpayer." Spencer noted the city proposed paying $185M up front, with the Flames "contributing the same amount and the other third coming from a surcharge on tickets to events in the new building." Calgary Sports & Entertainment would "own the new arena and receive all revenues from it, but the city asks that they pay property tax." Nenshi added that the city would bear approximately $200M in indirect costs, which are "infrastructure and public transit expansion to the area on the downtown east side" (CP, 9/15). However, Flames President & CEO Ken King said that the city’s offer is "misleading because whatever the city commits would eventually be paid back by the club." King in a press conference on Friday responding to the city's offer said that CS&E will "unveil details of its proposal sometime next week." He added that he "doesn’t know what it’ll take to get both sides talking again." King: "Their message is loud and clear: they’re not interested in our deal and we’re not interested in theirs" (CALGARY HERALD, 9/16).

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: In Calgary, Rick Bell wrote the two sides are "not close" on an agreement. King said that the city’s offer is "worse than what" the Flames have now at the aging Scotiabank Saddledome. Some at city hall and on city council "feel Nenshi should not be the one speaking on the city’s arena proposal." If anyone should "speak it is the city brass who did the negotiating" (CALGARY SUN, 9/16). Also in Calgary, Eric Francis wrote as the Flames and city's "acidic exchange suggests, a possible deal anywhere in town is now further away from becoming a reality than it ever was, especially since Nenshi is expected to win next month’s election" (CALGARY HERALD, 9/16). The CALGARY HERALD's Don Braid wondered if the Flames are "trying to run" Nenshi "out of City Hall in the Oct. 16 election." Baird: "It sure looks that way, after a week in which the Flames backed out of arena talks and blamed the mayor for the breakdown." Nenshi said, "King very clearly said this has nothing to do with the election, it has nothing to do with the Seattle deal, just purely a coincidental thing. I’m a trustworthy guy, I guess I’ll have to take him at his word on that." He added, "It is a bit strange ... I find it very odd." Asked about King’s role, Nenshi said, “I don’t know the man very well. I know him to say hello. I see him from time to time. I don’t know that it’s just him ... I think the owners group has a point of view on how they’re going to get the best possible deal" (CALGARY HERALD, 9/16).

NYC FC currently plays their home games at Yankee Stadium, but the club “remains optimistic" about finding its own home and has "looked at dozens of sites within the five boroughs," according to Kyle Schnitzer of the N.Y. POST. NYC FC President Jon Patricof said, "Right now we have multiple sites under active consideration -- some involve public processes and some are private. I think this is going well and we’re as far along in terms of progress certainly since I’ve been here over the last 18 months." NYC FC's "uncertain status regarding a permanent home created a scheduling conflict which forced the team to relocate one of its final two home matches out of state.” NYC FC will play their Sept. 23 home match against the Dynamo at UConn’s football stadium in East Hartford, Conn. because a Yankees makeup game “booted them out of The Bronx.” Yankee Stadium “requires 72 hours to transition between soccer and baseball," and with NYC FC "just tenants at the ballpark, the boot wasn’t all that surprising.” Where NYC FC are in their stadium search is “anyone’s guess.” Patricof last week said that the team “brought over the Chief Infrastructure Officer from parent club Manchester City to work full-time in New York City on the stadium search”  (N.Y. POST, 9/16).

Offseason upgrades to the Jazz' Vivint Smart Home Arena are still ongoing, but team President Steve Starks believes work will be finished "with days to spare" before it opens with a Faith Hill-Tim McGraw concert on Sept. 27, according to Tony Jones of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Seats at the arena "are now cushioned -- even in the upper bowl," and the court itself "will be the same, but the seat colors have changed from green to blue." The lighting will "center more on the court and be slightly dimmed in the crowd," similar to Staples Center. The club level also has been "moved to the second floor, and will be the largest such space for club seating in the NBA." The arena will have WiFi "for the first time, and the sixth floor will feature a fan zone, where fans can converse with each other while watching the game on the floor -- or on one of the big screen televisions." The concourse level where fans will spend "much of their time features several new restaurants and food options." The Jazz locker room has been "redone and has doubled in size." A special "J Note statue goes up next week outside, and will be one of the final major pieces." The renovation will extend the arena’s lifespan "at least 25 years." A celebratory concert featuring Rachel Platten "awaits employees and workers Thursday as a way to say thank-you" as a "dry run for the end of the month" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 9/17).

Last night's Packers-Falcons "SNF" matchup was the first regular season NFL game held at the new Mercedes Benz-Stadium, and NBC's Al Michaels said it was a "dream come true" for Falcons Owner Arthur Blank. Michaels said, "You can see the Halo that surrounds the entire upper rim of the stadium and there we are on the Halo." NBC's Cris Collinsworth said, "Unbelievable what a place this is. It really is exciting though. Every time we come to a new stadium and get a chance to open it up, they just keep getting more and more impressive. It's an awesome place." He added, "Congratulations on your new stadium and what looks like a successful opening night here" ("Packers-Falcons," NBC, 9/17). NBC's Michele Tafoya said, "One of the unique things about this $1.5 billion stadium is the retractable roof, when it opens resembles a camera aperture. They flipped the switch at around 2:00 this afternoon and it took about two hours to open, they'll eventually have that time down to minutes." She added, "Another signature part of this building is the 360-degree halo over the playing field, the largest video board in all of U.S. sports, and welcoming fans to the stadium is a 73,000-pound falcon statue. At 41.5 feet tall, it's the largest bird sculpture in the world" ("Football Night In America," NBC, 9/17).