Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary City Council Invites Flames Back to Table to Talk New Arena

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Calgary City Council Invites Flames Back to Table to Talk New Arena

Article excerpt

Calgary invites Flames back to arena table


Calgary city council voted to try and re-engage the Calgary Flames in arena talks Tuesday.

The Flames broke off negotiations a year ago with president Ken King calling discussions "spectacularly unproductive."

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

"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."

Calgary Sports and Entertainment supplied an email response from King, who said "We are not making any formal comment, but we are looking forward to hearing from them."

No new financial terms were presented Tuesday.

"First and foremost, the question is do we have a partner at the table with us or not?" Davison said.

"Once we have that, we can undertake what does a partnership look like, what would a cost structure look like, what would the broad parameters of an event centre look like and how do we approach that?"

Davison chairs an event centre assessment committee struck in May to revive the arena issue. He and CSEC exchanged cordial but noncommittal letters at that time.

That correspondence was the first public movement on a new building to house the NHL team since the fall of 2017, when replacing the 35-year-old Saddledome became civic election fodder.

CSEC broke off negotiations within days of Mayor Naheed Nenshi kicking off his campaign for a third term. Nenshi talked about a new arena as part of his vision for the downtown east side's revitalization.

Davison said Tuesday the committee approved in principle a third-party economic impact evaluation for the future district. …

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