Nenshi promises to release Calgary arena offer details after Flames pull out of deal
“I can tell you that the city had a very fair offer on the table, I think one that… most Calgarians will see as eminently reasonable, and there’s another offer on the table that most Calgarians will see as eminently unreasonable,” he said.
“And I will have the opportunity to share some details of those, thanks to the vote that was just taken, in the upcoming days.”
The comments came Wednesday after Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) president Ken King announced Tuesday they were no longer looking for a new arena in Calgary.
“We’ve been meeting directly for months and they’ve been spectacularly unproductive meetings,” King said in a news conference.
WATCH: The president of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) announced Tuesday they are no longer going to be pursuing a new facility. Doug Vaessen has details.
Nenshi said council voted Wednesday to release the details of the city’s arena proposal, adding it should be in the hands of Calgarians for them to give their input on in the next few days.
He reiterated that council negotiated in good faith and are still willing to keep talking and find an option.
“Council understands the importance of the Flames to the city. Council understands the importance of having the Flames downtown, to this city,” he said.
“We worked very hard to come up with a deal that makes sense in this economy without impacting people’s taxes that nonetheless participates in both the risk and the up-side.”
King said the decision to pull out of the deal was made after it became clear the CSEC and city had “different views” about what would work for the arena proposal, following Nenshi’s Monday launch of his mayoral campaign which focused on the Victoria Park option for an arena.
He also added the decision had nothing to do with the mayoral campaign or the recent announcement that a new arena was being built in Seattle.
Speaking with News Talk 770’s Danielle Smith on Wednesday, King said the size of both the Calgary and Edmonton markets means a privately-funded arena isn’t feasible.
“They’re hot beds,” King said. “People love their teams, but there’s just not enough critical mass in terms of people here to make it an economically viable or feasible thing, like it would be in New York, or perhaps Seattle, or Toronto or Montreal.
“We see this as public infrastructure where we can help offset, or we can help underwrite the operating costs by being tenants — by participating financially — because our ownership group [members] are very community-minded people.”
Nenshi didn’t give a timeline for when the details of the city’s proposal would be released.
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