Although some key tasks are completed, Calgary officials are cautioning that it will take time for Calgary Flames arena negotiations to get underway.
The City of Calgary has been laying the ground work for negotiations with the Flames, with the intention of discussing a proposed arena in Victoria Park that could cost upwards of C$600 million and replace the Scotiabank Saddledome. Last week, the city council voted to approve funding strategies for a new Flames arena plus three other major capital projects. That decision effectively gives the city some direction as it heads towards negotiations with Flames owner Calgary Sports and Entertainment, but it will take some time for discussions between the two sides to launch.
As was explained late last week by councillor Jeff Davison, Calgary officials are planning to go through the process of designating someone to represent the city in negotiations with Flames ownership before formally engaging with the organization. More from CBC News:
Previously, the chair of the event centre committee had said that if council approved a negotiating strategy, the process of reaching out to the Calgary Flames’ ownership on a resumption of negotiations would happen as soon as possible.
Davison told reporters the newly created sub-committee will discuss who should represent the city in negotiations and make a recommendation to the event centre committee.
“It will include who a representative might be. That is to be determined. Do we need to look externally to some expertise to help us on the negotiation. Do we have the right people internally? So all of those things are questions that the sub-committee will ask and answer,” said Davison.
He added that the event centre committee isn’t scheduled to meet until early April. However, a meeting could be called earlier if the sub-committee has recommendations sooner.
The push to engage in arena negotiations with the Flames comes 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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