32Saddledome view
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Report: arena proposal to be presented to City Council on Monday

Friends, the Calgary Flames have yet to reach a deal on a new home arena. But it sounds like things are getting a lot closer. According to a report from CBC News, a proposal for a new arena will be presented to Calgary’s City Council on Monday.

From our CBC colleagues:

Coun. Ward Sutherland told CBC News there is a proposal ready to present to city council on Monday.

“It’s not a deal at this particular point, there’s still lots of steps to go through. It’s really a proposal and we’ll be giving an update,” Sutherland said.

“Negotiations, as we mentioned a few weeks ago, had been ongoing. It’s a multi-party deal, so it’s very complex. It deals with the Stampede board, the Flames organization, CMLC [Calgary Municipal Land Corporation] and also the city.”

For context, Ward 1 councillor Ward Sutherland is the vice-chair of the Event Centre Assessment Committee, which has been working on the arena file since its formation last summer. Formal negotiations have been ongoing between city administration and the Flames organization since the spring, with both mayor Naheed Nenshi and Ward 6 councilor Jeff Davison (the committee’s chair) noting that progress was being made when updating council members prior to the Calgary Stampede.

The Flames have been earnestly working on an arena proposal since the summer of 2013, when the first dozen rows of the Scotiabank Saddledome flooded. Those discussions eventually led to the infamous CalgaryNEXT proposal in the summer of 2015 which targeted the West Village of downtown for a new rink. Subsequent discussions with the city steered things towards the Victoria Park area, with a site identified two blocks north of the Saddledome. However, talks hit the ditch in July 2017 and became a point of contention during the fall municipal election.

It’s important to note that this is likely a significant development; the direction from Council and the committee was for the negotiators to come back when they had something for them to weigh in on. The fact that this item is being placed on a jam-packed Council agenda means that there’s likely something substantial happening. Postmedia’s Meghan Potkins is reporting that there’s a tentative deal in place, which would be pretty significant.

We’ll have more on these developments as they become available, likely after Monday’s council meeting.

      • Searsy

        Thought process is simple. I am a Flames fan and a) want the team to stay in Calgary, and b) will enjoy an awesome new arena.

        I pay close to $9000 in property tax to the city annually and am thrilled that my tax dollars will finally go to a capital project that I will get to use.

        Lastly, the more public money that gets used, the less I will have to pay in increased ticket prices.

        Boom

        • “the more public money that gets used, the less I will have to pay in increased ticket prices.” my brain hurts from reading this. You know the Flames are private business and what capitalism is, right? The more public money that gets used the more money that ends up in the trousers of the already incredibly wealthy oil guys who own the team.

          • Searsy

            In the owners’ trousers?? Huh? The Flames owners don’t make any money off the Flames. They make their money in oil an gas, primarily. And they certainly won’t be making any money for the foreseeable future as they pay off the $250 million to $300 million they’ll be borrowing for the new Arena.

          • Rockmorton65

            Dunk, the more money in the owner’s trousers, the more money they will have to pay better players. (btw, “trousers”? 1962 called. They want their lingo back).

        • calgaryfan

          you are dreaming if you think the Flames will give the fan a break on ticket prices. They will push the tickets as high as they can, and the arena will probably have more boxes and less seats for the general public.

      • cornwallroyals

        Well, the more public money that is used means Nenshi & his cohorts have less to use to convert more roads to have bike lanes. I worked on a road that had this happen and the ensuing traffic jams that occurred had major tie-ups, meaning more cars idling for no good reasons. I understand the reasoning behind it, but it caused way more pollution than it was supposed to eliminate. One other thing, this isn’t Vancouver. We get 7 months of winter here. I feel so much better now.

      • Searsy

        Yes, the money will come from the capital budget of the City, which itself comes from my property taxes and local business tax that certain other Calgarians and I pay.

    • Derzie

      Look out the window. See those people? They are part of the ‘public’. Are they all hockey fans who like hockey enough to pay hundreds to see a game that’s on TV anyway? C’mon. That’s why it’s taking time. Look at the hubbub caused by spending millions on the library or the blue ring. If it’s your thing, it’s wonderful. If it’s not, it’s horrible. The more people understand that the world is big and they are little, the better the world will be.

    • Rockmorton65

      BTF, that extra money gives the owner the ability to pay higher bonuses, which can sway a free agents decision. It’s the difference between paying a player 20 mil over 4 years (AAV – 5 mil) vs 10 mil over 4 years with a 10 mil signing bonus (AAV – 5 mil). Same impact to the team, but the player gets half the value up front.

  • FLT

    I’m happy to a behind-closed-doors negotiation has resulted in progress. Taking shots through the media, injecting Bettman’s rhetoric into the process, etc. suggests the previous discussions weren’t healthy.

    Now let’s see how much of the detail is made public (hopefully all), and how closely the City’s team stuck to council’s mandate that any public money must be used for public benefit.

  • Jobu

    Can’t wait to see the proposal! Jobu would hope that a field house be included (Cavalry and Stamps need a more centralized home), but he doubts it.

    You would think the Stampede Committee would also be all over a field-house close to the grounds.

  • Flaming moe

    They say the cost is set at around $550 million. Edmonton’s arena cost nearly $700 million and that was 5 years ago. Cost of
    Building supplies has surely gone up since then, so how is the city/flames only building a new rink for only $550 million? I’m guessing it won’t be amongst the “nicest” arenas if they are planning on taking shortcuts. On the other hand can’t really blame them since the economy is still struggling.

    • Zeb Zadock

      Exactly what I was thinking when I see the price tag at only $550 million. I guess we’ll wait and see the final product. Maybe now Johnny re signs and stays long term in Calgary?

    • Searsy

      The Herald article referenced the cost as up to $600 million.

      Also, the cost of the new Edmonton Arena turned out to be $480 million. There were some other developments in the area unrelated to the Arena specifically that brought the overall cost up to $614 million.

    • Because the taxpayers of Edmonton were lied to, it cost way more than that, (Not that Katz fulfilled his obligations either)as it will in Calgary, there should be 0 tax dollars involved. Calgary taxpayers already being hosed by his Royal Purpleness , fasten your seatbelts, it is going to get worse.

  • Rockmorton65

    I’d much rather see tax dollars go to a project like this that will improve the city’s profile than wasted on overdone walkways, bike lanes, public “art” projects and pictures of fish on bridges.

    • Kevin R

      Or waste the $100mill for that goofy Rapid Bus Route down 14th street & overpass that wasnt needed at 14th & 90th Avenue. Buses are empty because duh, most of the office buildings down town are vacant. Just finish the ring road first. What a waste of $$$$ by the City.

  • buts

    Why its going to happen is because the stampede board is involved. I said many times before where was the stampede board in a new arena discussion considering they have the most to benefit outside the flames owners if built on or near the grounds. Somehow I still think Nenshi and his band of misfit councillors will do something egotistic to delay or ruin the project. We still need a fieldhouse and I sure hope plans include this project as well. Finally…..creosote is still leaking into the bow…..what the hell is going on with that…..If a alberta company was doing that to a Quebec river do you think it wouldn’t be “bend over pay” for cleanup yesterday by Trudeau. Our leadership in government is royally screwed up.