The Caglary Flames have released details on a previous offer to provide $275 million in funds toward a proposed $500 million arena. The team continues to indicate, however, that it is no longer pursuing a new arena in Calgary.
According to information that was released by the team, the Flames offered a $275 million contribution to an estimated $500 million arena in Victoria Park. The remaining $225 million would have been paid for by a community revitalization levy (CRL), which would use tax revenue generated by new development in the area to cover project costs.
This represents a different offer than what was proposed by the City of Calgary. That framework accounted for a total project cost of $555 million, with the city contributing $185 million, the team paying $185 million, and the remaining $185 million generated by a ticket tax. When broken down, the city’s contribution included $130 million toward the construction of the arena, plus $30 million in land, and $25 million to demolish the Scotiabank Saddledome. Additionally, that proposal called for the team to own and pay property tax on the arena and receive 100% of revenues.
The Flames, however, have made an argument against the city’s proposal. “In a ‘small market’ city, even one with an NHL team, a privately funded arena is not economically viable,” the team said in a statement. “The City’s proposal is just not workable (or even for that matter, “fair”, based on other arena deals in comparable cities). As a result, after over two years of discussions, we see absolutely no basis upon which a new arena agreement can be achieved with the City, and we have concluded that there is no point to continue the pursuit of a new arena in Calgary. Many, including us, believe Calgary is a terrific place for NHL hockey and we certainly have great fans. As such, we will strive to operate, as we have for the past 34 years, in the Saddledome for as long as we believe it is feasible.”
In a separate interview, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation president Ken King said the Flames are no longer planning to participate in an arena project in Calgary. More from CBC News:
“Basically, we were prepared to put $275 million in — we were, we are no longer,” CSEC president Ken King told CBC News. “We have decided not to pursue and really, that’s the message today, we’re fulfilling our promise that we said we’d tell people how much we were prepared to contribute.
“We’ve done that and now we’re going to move on and have some fun with our hockey team and football team and other teams and get back to business.”
The Flames have been looking for the last few years to replace the Scotiabank Saddledome, but have been unable to come to terms with Calgary officials. The Saddledome originally opened in 1983.
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