Gary Bettman discussed the Calgary arena deal on the Bob McCown Podcast
Photo credit:Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports
By Ryan Pike25 days ago
The Calgary Flames announced a new arena deal last week, unveiling a new $1.223 billion pact with the City of Calgary, the Alberta provincial government and the Calgary Stampede to build a new arena and gussy up a bunch of the surrounding road infrastructure.
On Friday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman joined Bob McCown and John Shannon on the Bob McCown Podcast and discussed the new Calgary deal at some length.
Before anybody asked him a question, Bettman interjected with “Very excited!” after the mere mention of the word “Calgary.” It was mentioned that this project, like the proposed Tempe arena deal, is also hinging on an upcoming election.
“I know that they have, their election’s the end of May. There’s an agreement in place finally for a new event centre. It’s a testament to the passion, desire and commitment of Flames ownership to Calgary, because it hasn’t been easy. And the delays over the years, between costs of construction and interest rate, has made the project much more expensive. But Flames ownership has hung in there, the city’s been great under the new mayor and council, and assuming the election goes the right way at the provincial level this should be a done deal and that’ll be great.”
Bettman reiterated that the provincial contribution is connected to a deal with the City, not with the Flames, and praised everybody involved for how things came together.
“Everybody, including the province, worked very hard to make this a reality. The province doesn’t have a deal with the club, the province is working with the city on some infrastructure, which they have to do anyway. So this is another situation where you can use the opportunity for infrastructure to make something really positive happen for the community. And listen, there’s no doubt that the Saddledome is past its useful life. There has to be a new building there because that one isn’t going to last forever.”
The Calgary arena deal includes $330 million in provincial infrastructure contributions, which can’t be formally approved until given the green light by the provincial cabinet and the treasury board sometime in August. In the interim, there’s a provincial election on May 29. We’ll see what unfolds.
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