Flames, Calgary Likely Announcing Tentative Arena Deal Soon
The Calgary city council will meet this afternoon to "get the first look at a tentative deal" reached between the city and the Flames for a new arena to "replace the Scotiabank Saddledome," according to Meghan Potkins of the CALGARY HERALD. Negotiations between the two camps were "recently described as 'productive' by the chair of council’s event centre committee." Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said that the council could "potentially host a public debate on the proposed agreement before elected officials break for the summer in August." A new arena is projected to cost C$550-600M, based on an 18,000-seat venue with "retail space, a community rink and 40,000 square feet of underground parking" (CALGARY HERALD, 7/20). The GLOBE & MAIL's Marty Klinkenberg notes it is "expected that the City of Calgary would retain ownership of the new building as part of the deal." The Saddledome is "owned by the city, but managed" by Calgary Sports & Entertainment Group, which owns the Flames. Calgary City Councillor Jeff Davison on Friday "hinted on social media that a breakthrough had occurred." Davison tweeted that talks about a new deal were "continuing, and that he anticipated details to be made public" today after a "briefing with city council." It is "not expected that construction could start before sometime" in '20. It is "hoped that a new venue would stimulate investment in the surrounding area, similar to what has occurred around Rogers Place in downtown Edmonton" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/22).