Buckle up, gang, because it sure sounds like the negotiations between the City of Calgary and the Calgary Flames regarding a new home for the hockey club are going to get worse before they get better. After Flames president Ken King announced that the club was stepping away from negotiations, Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi and city council made a move of their own.
First, council voted 8-4 to release negotiation details between the City and the Flames, effectively taking their in-camera talks out into the open. Nenshi then spoke to the media, confirming a handful of aspects of the negotiations that were (to this point) speculated upon.
The arena price tag was confirmed to be around $550 million and the three-way split reported by the Globe and Mail between the City, Flames and a ticket tax confirmed as “mostly accurate.” The City’s contribution would be a loan, and the comments sure make it seem like Metro Calgary’s report about the loan repayment mechanisms being the sticking point is fairly accurate as well. At $550 million for the new building, that would be approximately $183 million from the City, $183 million from the Flames and $183 million from a ticket tax. (Our guess was only off by $50 million.)
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The details on the City’s offer will be released “in coming days.” As for the prospect of reigniting negotiations, the mayor stuck to his guns.
“We remain at the table,” said Nenshi.