Nenshi: Calgary Flames arena offer is 'eminently unreasonable'

Nenshi: Calgary Flames arena offer is 'eminently unreasonable'

The Calgary Flames are at it again with Gary Bettman along side.

"We were asked. if we'd look at a Victoria Park vision and we've been meeting directly for months and they've been spectacularly unproductive meetings", said King, who was joined by National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman for the announcement. 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 that nonetheless participates in both the risk and the up-side".

On the heels of support for an expansion team in Quebec City and further discussion of an National Hockey League presence in Houston and Seattle, where everything from arena renovation plans to a change in franchise ownership has spawned relocation rumors for some clubs, came a dramatic revelation Tuesday night from Ken King, president of the Calgary Flames.

However, the city rejected this proposal, in part because of a projection by the mayor's office that said the project would cost closer to $1.8 billion due "to the site's contaminated land".

Before Nenshi spoke to media, Calgary city council voted 8-4 to authorize Nenshi to release details from arena negotiations; details Nenshi said would be made public in the coming days. The money would have to be paid back. "And I think it's time we stopped pretending and we're a little honest with our fans and our city on that fact".

"I can tell you the city has a very fair offer on the table". The city has always negotiated in very good faith here and we remain at the table, we remain ready to negotiate in good faith. "There is another offer on the table that most Calgarians will see as eminently unreasonable".

Sources tell Rogers Media the Flames sourced the cost of an arena at Victoria Park at roughly $500 million, while the City pegged it at roughly $600 million.

While King denied making the arena an election issue, the timing of the team's bombshell seems created to turn up on the heat on the mayor and councillors ahead of the October 16 civic election. "I think there's a different view of what the kind of participation should be and that's where it's at", said King.

Current councillor Andre Chabot, who is also running for mayor, says the city should be doing more to pursue talks with the team.

Nenshi, who seeks a third term, has at times downplayed the economic benefit of a new arena, which created tension between the National Hockey League team and the mayor.



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