Photo of the Scotiabank Saddledome and the Calgary, Alberta skyline.

Image Credit: Bernerd Spragg

Calgary Flames President and CEO Ken King has issued a warning to Calgary residents that the team is prepared to relocate if a new arena is not constructed for the team. Calgary’s city council is reluctant to use public funds to build an arena, as they should be. The Flames’ current home arena, the Scotiabank Saddledome, is the second oldest arena in the National Hockey League behind Madison Square Garden.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has gone on record to say that the Calgary Flames organization is in desperate need of a new arena. Bettman also pointed to the Edmonton Oilers, who debuted at Rogers Place this season and not only revamped their fan interest but also increased attendance. The Edmonton Oilers also made the playoffs this season after an absence of several years.

Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. (CSEC) have proposed an arena in the West Village neighborhood called CalgaryNEXT. The proposed arena’s construction costs are estimated to be in the $890 million to $1.8 billion range and would also house the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders. Calgary's Mayor insists that the lack of infrastructure and necessary cleanup to West Village area has greatly decreased the likelihood of an arena being built there.

An alternative to CalgaryNEXT, also called “Plan B”, is to build a new arena in Victoria Park near the Scotiabank Saddledome near 12 Avenue and 5 Street S.E. An arena in Victoria Park would only be able to house the Flames; the site is currently a parking lot. The current arena discussions for the Calgary Flames have been ongoing since the summer of 2015. The main obstacle is the city council deciding how to pay for the arena’s construction and whether public money would generate a return on that investment. The Scotiabank Saddledome was damaged in 2013 from a flood, although it did receive a small scale renovation after the fact. 




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