Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary Flames Pull out of Arena Negotiations during Civic Election Campaign

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary Flames Pull out of Arena Negotiations during Civic Election Campaign

Article excerpt

Flames pull out of arena negotiations

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CALGARY - The Calgary Flames say they're pulling out of talks with the city for a new arena as a civic election campaign heats up.

Team president Ken King said Flames owners believe they can't make a deal because negotiations have been unproductive.

Flanked by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, King said the Flames are committed to staying in Calgary for now.

"Scotiabank Saddledome will continue to host a couple million people a year," he told reporters at a hastily-called news conference Tuesday afternoon.

"We'll just go on and run our business and do what we can to operate and try and figure out what the future will look like at some point later."

Bettman said the 34-year-old Scotiabank Saddledome will affect the ability of the franchise to be competitive in the future.

"They're going to hang on as long as they can," the commissioner said. "At least, that's the current view.

"That's not a prospect that thrills them or anybody else. But it is a realistic assessment of the situation they find themselves in."

A proposal to put an arena on the west side of downtown took a backseat to talks of building it on the east side instead.

The initial CalgaryNext project proposed in 2015 included an arena, football stadium and public fieldhouse costing $890 million.

Flames owners offered $200 million of their money and proposed a $250-million loan be repaid through a ticket surcharge.

City council declared CalgaryNext would cost a lot more than that -- around $1.3 billion -- with taxpayers footing over a billion of it. …

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