Arena talks between the Calgary Flames and the City of Calgary have been going on for two full years, following the August 2015 unveiling of the CalgaryNEXT proposal.
After two years of negotiations, it appears that talks are no longer going on.
Breaking: Ken King drops bombshell, saying owners no longer going to pursue new arena in Calgary.
— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) September 12, 2017
The timing of the impromptu press conference announcing the end of talks is probably not a coincidence. Two days ago, incumbent mayor Naheed Nenshi unveiled his platform plank involving considerable public and private investment in a cultural and entertainment district centered around Stampede Park – with a brand new building for the Flames as the centerpiece.
The municipal election is slated for Oct. 16, with Nenshi being challenged for the mayor’s chair by a wide range of challengers including council member Andre Chabot and former Alberta Progressive Conservative Party executive Bill Smith.
Earlier today, the City of Seattle reportedly came to terms (or is close to it) with the Oak View Group regarding a $660 million private investment to turn the aging KeyArena into an NHL-caliber building. Seattle has long been seen as the logical addition to the Western Conference to create a balanced 32-team league, but it’s also frequently been brought up as a potential suitor for teams with aging buildings – Seattle is to the NHL what Los Angeles has long been to the NFL.
On the surface, based on the negotiations we’ve seen recently in places like Edmonton, this seems like a negotiation tactic. We’ll have more on this story as it develops.