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.
— CBC Calgary (@CBCCalgary) July 19, 2019
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.
— Meghan Potkins (@mpotkins) July 19, 2019
We’ll have more on these developments as they become available, likely after Monday’s council meeting.