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New Flames Arena Has Solid Council Support: Report

A new Calgary Flames (NHL) arena has the support of a majority of city councillors as a big vote is scheduled for Tuesday, according to a headcount of the council from a local newspaper.

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 and also receive an option to buy two city-owned land parcels next to the arena.

The arena has already received plenty of support from city officials, and the reality is the proposal wouldn’t be before the council if support was lacking. From the Calgary Sun:

Coun. Jyoti Gondek said the arena could help “activate that long dead space between the Stampede grounds and all of the wonderful things we’ve done in East Village.”

She said it would also give Calgary the chance to host new types of events it has never held before.

“When you look at League of Legends and Fortnite, two of the most popular (video) games that are out there, those are packing venues in places like Vegas and San Diego because people are going to watch these things,” Gondek said.

“We’ve got to stop looking at arts, culture and sport like some sort of a charitable cause, or some sort of a recreational thing that we do. If we don’t understand the market potential of those things . . . we are going to be missing out on the current economy, let alone the new economy.”

The new arena would replace the Saddledome, which opened in 1983, and is currently the second-oldest facility among full-time NHL arenas.

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