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Bettman: Calgary Flames Not Pursuing Calgary Arena

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A new Calgary Flames arena in Calgary is not in the works, according to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who says the team is not in discussions with the city. 

Last fall, discussions between the Flames and the City of Calgary over a new arena in Victoria Park came to a halt. Citing a lack of progress in negotiations over the proposed arena financing deal, the Flames announced in September that they would no longer pursue a new facility in Calgary. Eventually the two sides released their separate arena proposals, while an October election resulted in Naheed Nenshi–who Bettman had criticized for what he saw as his role in the stalled negotiationswinning a third term.

There has been silence out of Calgary in recent months when it comes to discussions over a new arena, and Bettman’s comments indicate that nothing on that front has changed. The commissioner, who was set to visit Calgary on Friday to meet with team officials, said that the Flames are not resuming talks with Calgary over a new arena. More from TSN:

But he says he won’t be wading into the issue of a new rink because the Flames have decided there’s no point.

“Obviously I’ll get an update from the Flames, but they are no longer pursuing a new arena in Calgary so there’s really nothing to talk about,” Bettman told reporters in Edmonton on Thursday.

Bettman was asked if the ball is then in the city’s court when it comes to getting negotiations renewed.

“There is no court,” Bettman replied. “The team has decided there was no point in continuing to pursue a new arena.”

Up until last fall, there had been a fairly active pursuit on the part of the Flames to build a replacement in Calgary for the Scotiabank Saddledome, which originally opened in 1983. In 2015, the team released details on the ambitious CalgaryNEXT development, but the proposal struggle to gain traction with the city over concerns about its cost. Discussions about a new arena in Victoria Park were focused on a site just north of the Saddledome.

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