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New Calgary Flames Arena Details Unveiled

New Calgary Arena rendering

Details on a proposed Calgary Flames arena were unveiled Monday, calling for the team and city to partner on financing a new C$550 million arena.

The city and Flames ownership Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. have been in discussions about a potential arena in Victoria Park, which would serve as a replacement of the Scotiabank Saddledome. It was revealed recently that the two sides had reached a tentative agreement, and details on that plan emerged on Monday.

Current plans call for the new arena to cost C$550 million, with the Flames and the city to each pay C$275 million toward construction costs. The arena would fall under city ownership, while the city would receive proceeds from a ticket tax and a share of naming-rights revenue. In addition, the Flames would assume operations and maintenance costs over the course of a 35-year lease with the city.

Although details on the proposal are now public, the plan is not final. The Calgary City Council still has to decide whether to ratify or reject the agreement, and is currently expected to conduct its vote on July 29. More from the Calgary Herald:

Under the proposal, the city would collect a “facility fee,” a two per cent tax on every ticket sold at the arena for the lifetime of the agreement, amounting to an estimated $155 million in revenue over 35 years.

The city would also receive a share from the naming rights for the new building, equivalent to an estimated $2.5 million over 10 years.

“Let’s cut to the chase. This is a good deal for Calgary,” Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Monday evening. “For some years now, I have been saying that any investment of public money in this project must come with public benefit. This deal does that.”

Calgarians will have seven days to digest the proposed deal and offer feedback before July 29, when council is expected to vote to either ratify or reject the agreement.

The proposed agreement includes a few other notable terms. The city will pay C$12.4 million toward the Saddledome’s demolition costs, a 90% contribution. CSE, meanwhile, will up its contribution to local amateur sports to C$75 million.

For the Flames and the city, the proposed agreement for a new arena comes after past discussions ended without a firm plan. Previous talks hit a stalemate in the fall of 2017 because of disagreements over the economics of a proposed new arena, but the two sides have more recently been working toward a deal. The Saddledome, which opened in 1983, is currently the second-oldest facility among full-time NHL arenas.

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