The Calgary Event Centre Deal Falls Through

Calgary Event Centre
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Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek announced the Calgary Flames pulled out of the Calgary Event Centre deal with the city. The Event Centre was supposed to be their new arena.

Calgary Flames Pull Out Of The Calgary Event Centre Deal

In December of 2019, the team and the city agreed to equally split the costs of a $550 million, 18,000 seat arena. The Calgary Event Centre’s location is about a 10-minute walk from the Scotiabank Saddledome where the Flames currently play. Development permits were approved last month but according to Gondek, two costs still needed to be settled. They are climate mitigation of around $4 million and “sidewalk right of way issues” of $12.1 million. According to Gondek, this is where negotiations broke off.

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“The city came to the table to assist with $6.4m in roadways leaving $9.7m for the Flames. Based on this gap, (Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corp) informed me they are walking away from our deal. On a project worth over $650m, to have one party walk away for 1.5% of the value of the deal is staggering,” Gondek tweeted.

At the time of writing, neither the Flames nor owner Murray Edwards has commented on the situation. The event centre’s construction was set to begin in early 2022.

What This Means for the Flames

It’s hard to imagine $9.7 million in extra money is the true difference.  Calgary was reportedly interested in acquiring Jack Eichel whose costs $10 million a season for the next five years.  This could be a hard negotiation tactic by the Flames to put pressure on the new mayor, Gonek. It wouldn’t be the first time the Flames have tried this type of tactic with former team president Brian Burke saying in 2017 the Flames could leave Calgary and find an arena elsewhere. In addition, there can also be more to the story that Gondek is not telling the public. This is story is far from over.

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