Flames president says deal dead and discussion over on new arena
Calgary business leaders gathered for lunch to hear from Flames President and CEO Ken King on Monday who said that the team is done negotiating with the city for a new arena.
King says the issue is ‘closed’ and told the crowd that he was not there to talk about it.
“But if you came here looking for another round in the debate, you're going to be very disappointed,” he said.
Earlier this month, the city offered a three-way split for a new, $555 million facility and proposed that the city, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and a ticket tax, fund equal portions of $185 million each.
The Flames responded a few days later and said the team would be willing to hand over $275 million for a new building in Victoria Park but that the city would have to come up with $225 million through a Community Revitalization Levy.
The city questioned the discrepancy in cost and said the province has frozen the CRL plan pending a review so the two sides are now at a standstill.
On Monday, King reiterated that the Flames are no longer pursuing a new facility in Calgary and that anyone who thinks he is bluffing is wrong.
Ward 13 councillor Dianne Colley-Urquhart says she doesn't doubt that.
“With a new council, the first thing that has to happen is to have that conversation with Calgarians now if in fact the Flames ever come back to the table and I don't treat what they're saying as sort of, a hollow response at all,” she said.
King said that the Flames are a ‘have not’ franchise and that the team is headed in the wrong direction.
“We've gone from a top ten, revenue contributing team, where we wrote the cheques in the last few years to help the other teams, and we have now crossed the line. We are now receivers, we’ll get a cheque this year. Isn't that ridiculous in this beautiful market,” he said.
Prominent business owner, Brett Wilson, attended the event and says there’s still a deal to be had.
“I would basically put all the people in one room, turn up the heat, bring in the beer and lock the door. It’s deal country but not with this council, not with this administration,” said Wilson.
King told CTV’s Glenn Campbell after the luncheon that this would be the last time he talks publically about the arena.