Sport There will be no winners in the Flames' arena battle with Calgary

23:45  13 september  2017
23:45  13 september  2017 Source:   Sporting News

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✕ Calgary Arena Deal Is Dead. It doesn't appear that the Flames will be getting a new arena anytime soon. The Flames announced today that they are no longer persuing a new arena with the city of Calgary .

Calgary isn’t even close to getting a new arena , even “ There would be no threat to move, we would just move, and it would be over,” King said during an interview on Sportsnet Fan 590 in Toronto. But now that the Flames have made it to the playoffs, Flames fever will once again grip Calgary .

There are facts, and there are opinions. While it may be the opinion of some that public funding is either good or bad when it comes to the funding for the arenas or stadiums of professional sports franchises, the facts paint a very black-and-white picture. In almost any venture that digs into the pockets of the public, and not the millionaire or billionaire executives who run said franchises, the losses from the taxpayers made accountable for the money end up being astronomical.

Where you stand on taxpayers losing millions to fund the construction of stadiums is another conversation (or argument) entirely, but these are the principle facts of these situations.

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Since there was no agreement, there was now a proposal on Monday morning for a new arena called Arena Plan B. I feel like at this point, Ken King doesn’t even care, he just wants a new arena . Mark of a winner ( Calgary Flames ). Some other links surrounding hockey and the NHL.

Ken King, the team’s president, has said that Flames ownership is no longer going to pursue a new arena in Calgary . Gary Bettman was in town too, which is never a good sign. Bettman: "At some point there will be consequences that will have to be dealt with."

Scotiabank Saddledome© (GETTY IMAGES) Scotiabank Saddledome

Which brings us to Tuesday, when Flames president Ken King said the team is "no longer pursuing" an arena deal in Calgary. It was the latest episode in what's become an ugly series of "who is going to flinch first" when it comes to Calgary's downright need to play its home games in a building other than the Scotiabank Saddeldome, the one the Flames have occupied since it was built in 1985.

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"Without a new building, there will be consequences everyone will have to deal with," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said, another vague assessment/threat that, like virtually every turn of this situation, portends danger for one side in the hopes in inciting enough fear for some kind of actionable pause.

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Because, at this stage in the staredown, you've got folks like Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke outright saying, "We'll just leave" if the two sides can't find common ground and break ground on a new arena. King also said that, after speaking with Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, he determined the city no longer has any interest in supporting the Flames in finding a new arena in Calgary. (When you Google "Calgary Mayor," Nenshi's result yields a picture of him in a Flames jersey.)

King addressed the media at the Flames' annual golf tournament Tuesday, in a setting with a bunch of hockey reporters, a match, and some gasoline just days after Nenshi laid out his vision for, you guessed it, a new downtown arena that would solve the very problem King described as unsolvable. (This also all comes a week before Nenshi is gearing up to campaign for a potential mayoral reelection, to complicate the matter.)

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Calgary Flames president and CEO Ken King says the team will move if it can't strike a deal for a new arena . " There would be no threat to move, we would just move, and it would be over. And I'm trying my level best to make sure that day never comes, frankly

Right next door is the Corral, a 7200 seat hockey arena which for two seasons was the first home of the Flames in Calgary . There is no "team store" but there are two huge merchandise sale areas in the two sideline concourses.

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The need for a new arena in Calgary isn't new, nor is the contentious tone surrounding the project itself. Last June, Bettman was grilled on CBC's "Calgary Eyeopener" radio show, in which he was repeatedly asked about using taxpayer money to funding of a new arena, and didn't very much appreciate the line of questioning.

"The question misses the point," Bettman said. "... The fact of the matter is, they're not going to make an investment, and they're not going to bestow a $900 million charitable gift. It's something that requires a joint public and private partnership."

Each question being asked when it comes to a new potential Calgary arena for the Flames, and each inch being asked to be conceded, has not only been met with an objection, but pretty stern consternation. The polite negotiating behind close doors has gone by the wayside for public mud-slinging, and intimidation meant to strong-arm the city into ponying up millions of tax dollars to fund this arena.

In the end, there will be only losers.

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Calgary Flames Tickets. Get Ticket Alerts. Beginning of Favourite Added simulated dialogue content. However, we had never been to this arena before and the signage did seem to be lacking. There was no one around to direct people in the first section, so we had no idea where we should go.

Arena talks between the Calgary Flames and the City of Calgary have been going on for two full years, following the August 2015 unveiling of the CalgaryNEXT proposal. After two years of negotiations, it appears that talks are no longer going on.

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The last time an NHL franchise moved — the very thing Burke threatened — was in 2011, when the Atlanta Thrashers became the Winnipeg Jets. The last time a Canadian city lost its franchise to American pastures came in 1996, when the old Winnipeg Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes.

The idea of Canada losing one of its seven franchises is difficult to grasp. Had executives of the Coyotes struck the same public chord used by King and Burke, the franchise would be written out of the desert in a Quebec minute. The Flames are playing with fire, especially considering the reported interest of a few cities for an NHL franchise via relocation when Las Vegas was granted one via expansion.

For the fans, losing the franchise would be the absolute worst outcome. A new stadium funded by their tax money, though city-binding, wouldn't exactly be a home run as much as a "reached base on error"; being taken for millions of dollars, though painted as a "public and private partnership" by Bettman in that radio hit, doesn't involve two partners of nearly the same financial footing.

For the team, maybe there are fans naive enough to believe the city is really playing hard to get or is completely unwilling to dance with the Flames and cooperate in a plan for a new Calgary arena. Or maybe they will see the Flames as a bully in this situation, trying to play the emotions associated with losing a franchise against a group of politicians.

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