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Owners halt new Calgary arena

Saying there was no viable path to complete a new Calgary Flames arena, the owners of the NHL team halted planning for the downtown Event Centre Project.

In a statement issued last night by Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (“CSEC”), the issue is simple: “the City and CSEC have been unable to resolve a number of issues relating to the escalating costs of the Project.” When the agreement for a new Calgary Flames arena was reached in December 2019, the funding was split 50-50 between the city and the Flames owner. But rising costs and a decision by the city to cap its contribution changed the economics of the proposal. According to the team, they agreed to covered additional costs when the project estimate rose to $608.5 million (all prices in Canadian dollars) in July 2021. But with the project cost now estimated to be at least $634 million–meaning an extra $25.5 million from the owners–and costs continuing to rise with additional infrastructure, supply-chain challenges and climate costs, the owners decided to fold.

Calgary Mayor Jynoti broke the news first over Twitter and laid out the city’s side of the issue:

For now, the team says it will continue playing at Scotiabank Saddledome. And this project has already risen at least once from the dead, so don’t assume discussions over the new Calgary Flames arena are over.

Rendering from October 2021 courtesy Calgary Flames.

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