Owned by the Flames, the City of Calgary renews talks to build a new arena

The City of Calgary and the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) have agreed to resume discussions on building a new arena, the two sides announced Wednesday.

“We are at the beginning of an important milestone,” Calgary Councilor Sonya Sharp, chair of the event center committee, said in an article posted on the City of Calgary’s website. “A new event center for our city will attract international investment and events. It will have enormous benefits for visitors and for Calgarians. We look forward to working with CSEC for our mutual benefit and for an outcome that works for everyone. »

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When an agreement between the city and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, owner of the Flames, fell apart at the end of 2021, the city council voted in January to involve a third party.

John Fisher, Guy Huntingford, and Phil Swift were assigned to determine if the Flames still wanted to build an arena with the city, or if the city wanted to seek out other potential partners to build an event center.

The third-party working group, which has now completed its work, has been credited with bringing the two parties together. The City of Calgary, according to the website’s story, will be represented by CAA ICON, a firm with experience in “structuring deals for major sports and entertainment venues in North America and Europe.”

The City and the Flames agreed to an arena deal more than two years ago with an initial estimate of $550 million split between the two.

Shovels were due to hit the ground in 2022 for a 19,000-seat arena and concert hall replacing the Saddledome, which has been home to the Flames for 39 years and is the NHL’s second-oldest arena, behind New York’s Madison Square Garden. .

The project cost estimate was $634 million.

Since the two sides agreed to a modified deal last July, the city has added an additional $19 million in roadwork and climate mitigation to the project, and wanted the Flames to pay $10 million for it. This request ultimately led to the failure of the previous agreement.

CSEC also owns the Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, the Stampeders of the Canadian Football League and the Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League.

With files from The Canadian Press

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