The city and the Flames can’t seem to come to an agreement on a new arena and Ken King says the team is no longer looking to build a new facility in Calgary.
King says he spoke with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi on Monday evening and that it is clear that the two sides don't have the same vision.
He says the Flames were willing to work with the city and abandon the West Village plan for another location in East Village but he says they've been meeting for months and that those sessions have been very unproductive.
“Our ownership group are so committed to this community in so many different ways and you can image the anxiety that they went through in terms of coming to the decision and coming to the realization that you just can’t make a deal,” said King.
King says the ownership group agreed to put up a substantial financial consideration in what would have been their second choice.
“So it doesn't look like we're going to get there and I think it's time that we stop pretending and we're a little more direct and a little more honest with our fans and with our city about that fact,” said King
“I don't know what the long term future holds but I know that these are people who, had been over the years, and we went through difficult times 15, 20 years ago, that have hung on but I think that there’s a resignation that there’s no ability to get a new building in this market so they’re going to stop trying,” said NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman.
“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 Saddledome is the oldest arena in the league and many Calgarians say they can’t understand why Edmonton can get the deal done and Calgary can’t.
“Edmonton found a way to get it done so does Calgary, that’s ridiculous, the Saddledome is a grave yard, it’s a horrible place to watch a concert, see a game, it’s ancient,” said Eli.
“I think if Calgarians want professional hockey here, I would say they would have to cough up the funds,” said Russell.
“It’s been great up in Edmonton with what they’ve done in the ice district with all the new arena up there, it would be a great stimulus for the economy down here,” said Paul.
Edmonton’s new arena cost more than $600 million to build and opened to the public in 2016.