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Mayor says city still at the table for arena discussions
Published Wednesday, September 13, 2017 1:06PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 13, 2017 6:58PM MDT
The Flames say that there is no headway being made in the discussions for a new downtown arena and cancelled talks with the city, but Calgary’s mayor says he is still very much at the table.
Naheed Nenshi addressed the media on Wednesday morning following a closed door meeting with council, saying he was taken by surprise by King’s decision to step away from the discussion table.
“I want to be clear about something. The city has always negotiated in very good faith here and we remain at the table, we remain ready to negotiate in good faith. Council understands the importance of the Flames to this city, we understand the importance of having the Flames downtown to this city. We worked very hard to come up with a deal that makes sense in this economy, without impacting people’s taxes.”
On Tuesday, Flames president Ken King told the media that it’s clear that the city and the Flames organization don’t share the same vision for the project.
King says that the Flames have been willing to work with the city and pursue a plan that would see the arena built in Victoria Park rather than in the West Village, the team’s choice of location.
According to King, meetings have been ongoing for months with the most recent being on Monday evening.
“I think there's a different view of what's fair. I think there's a different view of what the kind of participation should be and that's where it's at,” said King.
The Flames have said that CalgaryNEXT would have cost $890M to build. There was no price tag attached to the Victoria Park option.
The future of the arena plan might just end up being the most polarizing issue in the upcoming election, as all the mayoral candidates will be presenting their ideas on how they would get the deal completed.
Earlier this week, Nenshi released a campaign video where he touted his idea of an improved arts and entertainment district in the East Village, Victoria Park and eastern parts of the downtown core.
Current councillor Andre Chabot, who is also running for mayor, says the city should be doing more to pursue talks with the team.
“I think we can come with a plan that will work for them and for Calgarians.”