The Calgary City Council voted Monday to approve new Calgary Flames arena negotiating terms, a step toward discussing the potential facility with the organization.
Officials had been reviewing a term sheet with the city’s negotiating position that would allow talks with the Flames to resume in the very near future, contingent upon approval from the full council. It appeared that a decision on those terms could be made last week, but officials opted to postpone discussions, ultimately setting up Monday’s vote.
By an 11-4 margin, the council voted to approve funding strategies for a new Flames arena in Victoria Park–which would serve as a replacement for the aging Scotiabank Saddledome–plus three other major capital projects. That decision effectively allows the city to proceed with a negotiating mandate in their discussions with the Flames. The total of the four capital projects is estimated to be more than C$1.5 billion, including upwards of C$600 million for the new arena, but the exact funding plans have not been revealed. More from CTV News Calgary:
“Tonight, we’ve approved the financial strategy to move forward with the unfunded large capital projects the city has before us,” said Ward 6 Councillor Jeff Davison. “In that, we have approved, the events centre assessment committee, to move forward with the negotiating mandate.”
“The thing to remember at the end of the day, with respect to all four projects, council’s really set a lot of terms and conditions in order to move that money and unlock it and move the projects forward. That said, we’ve stood behind them before and will continue to do that. Some are farther ahead than others and we’ll continue to move forward in the hopes that we can achieve everything.”
Council also voted in favour of a motion to develop a public engagement plan to collect public feedback on the terms and conditons of a deal once an agreement is reached with Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation as well as public feedback on the facility itself.
[Ward 8 Councillor Evan] Woolley says additional details regarding the funding model will be revealed later this month.
The push to engage in arena negotiations with the Flames come after previous talks hit a stalemate in the fall of 2017 because the two sides could not resolve their considerable differences over the economics of the proposal. The Saddledome, which opened in 1983, is currently the second-oldest facility among full-time NHL arenas.
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