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City still working on offer to Calgary Flames for new arena

Click to play video: 'Calgary city council to vote on arena proposal' Calgary city council to vote on arena proposal
March 3, 2019: Ward Sutherland, Calgary city councillor for Ward 1, joins Global News Calgary to discuss Monday's city council meeting, when a vote is expected on the city's terms for a new arena – Mar 3, 2019

The city hall committee tasked with trying to kick-start talks with the Calgary Flames on a new arena says there is still no offer to put on the table.

Early last month, Calgary city council approved a strategy for negotiations. Event centre committee chair Jeff Davison said he hoped a conversation would start quite quickly.

“At this point, we haven’t had a whole lot to report back,” the Ward 6 councillor said.

“The city’s in a position where we’re trying to get all of our ducks in a row. So I think to some degree, we’ve been a little bit of negotiating with ourselves.

“To some degree, we want to put our best foot forward and so we’re being extra cautious and spending extra time so that any proposal we move forward with is our best position to be in.”

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READ MORE: City of Calgary working group set up to deal with Flames arena negotiations

Davison does remain optimistic.

“I think we’ve taken the time to do the proper due diligence this time rather than be in a reactive situation,” he said Wednesday.

“We’re really looking at: what are the benefits to all Calgarians if we are to do this before we get into any kind of negotiation or discussion.

“It’s Calgary first and we’ve got to make sure that this isn’t something that just works for one partner; it works for everybody.”

He predicts a different situation than when talks failed two years ago when he says both parties were fighting with another.

“What we do know at this point is that we have a willing partner whose potentially out there and willing to invest a significant amount of capital with us in a facility the City of Calgary will own.”

The Ward 6 councillor says any deal will have to benefit all Calgarians and not just those with tickets to hockey games.

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