Flames no longer looking for new arena in Calgary: Ken King
The Calgary Flames are no longer looking for a new arena in their home city, according to the president of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC).
“We had an owners meeting today and we have determined and needed to advise Gary [Bettman] that we’re no longer going to be pursuing a new facility,” Ken King said in a Tuesday news conference. “The owners’ group are pretty clear and pretty definite in their view on that.
“We were asked… in the last year or so, if we’d look at a Victoria Park vision and we’ve been meeting directly for months and they’ve been spectacularly unproductive meetings,” he added.
“And it’s unfortunate because I thought we really had something that would work and it would seem pretty clear that it’s not.”
King said the meeting was held Tuesday after Mayor Naheed Nenshi kicked off his campaign on Monday “with a vision for Victoria Park.”
LISTEN: Ken King explains the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation’s decision not to pursue a new arena
He said it “doesn’t look like we’re going to get there,” adding that it was time to be direct and honest with the team’s fans and the city.
“So, McMahon will continue to house a great football team and Scotiabank Saddledome will continue to host a couple of million people a year, and we’ll just go on and run our business and do what we can to operate and try and figure out what the future looks like at some point later,” King said.
King said the Flames will continue to use the stadium “for as long as it takes to resolve the situation in whatever way it may be resolved,” but admitted he doesn’t know what a solution might be.
He said the major sticking point for the CSEC was a “different view” about what was fair and what the participation should be for parties involved.
“We met in late July on an in-camera basis to express our frustration and to try to help them understand… we thought maybe we might make a little bit of progress, but I don’t think we did,” he said.
“They have a different view and they’re entitled to that. But we have not met since – we haven’t been talking for a long time.”
When asked about what he’d do if other cities came courting, King said: “I’m going to say that we are busy in our home market running our business and that’s what we’re doing.
“We’re not shopping, we’re not looking around.”
Nenshi said council was in session when King made the announcement Tuesday afternoon, and he would not be commenting until Wednesday.
LISTEN: Gord weighs in on the arena debate and the announcement from Flames ownership
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