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Report: Calgary Flames to Back Out of Arena Deal

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek says that the Flames intend to pull out of a major arena project.
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Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek tweeted out late on Tuesday night that the Calgary Flames intend to pull out of a major arena project. The plan was announced back in 2019.

The Flames have not addressed the tweets as of 7:00 PM MST.

"Today, I spoke with Murray Edwards, primary shareholder of Calgary Sports & Entertainment Corp (CSEC), about the future of the Event Centre project," Gondek tweeted. "He informed me of the Flames intention to pull the plug on the Event Centre deal."

Originally, both the city and the CSEC had agreed to split the costs of a new rink to replace the aging Scotiabank Saddledome, with the deal projected to cost between $550 and 600 million. There were bumps along the road, but estimations had early 2022 as a construction target.

"The City came to the table to assist with $6.4m in roadways leaving $9.7m for the Flames. Based on this gap, CSEC informed me they are walking away from our deal," Gondek tweeted. "On a project worth over $650m, to have one party walk away for 1.5% of the value of the deal is staggering."

In a press briefing, Gondek added: "There was additional funding that had to be taken on by Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation. It appears that they are unable to make that financial commitment, following the approval of their development permit, so it would appear that they are ending the deal."

The Saddledome has currently been used in the NHL the second-longest (1983-84) behind New York's Madison Square Garden, which opened up in 1967-68. The City of Calgary agreed to approve the new arena project in 2019 under former mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Looks like things are about to get interesting in Cowtown.

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