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Monday, May 27, 2024

Calgary Flames Back Out of $634M Arena Deal

  • The Calgary Flames are pulling out of an arena deal with the city.
  • The team and city had originally agreed to split $550 million in costs, but estimated expenses had risen.
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

New arenas and stadiums are sprouting up across North America, but one team is reversing course.

The Calgary Flames are backing out of an arena deal, citing increased costs. The team and the city of Calgary had agreed to split the cost of a $550 million facility in 2019, but the team says that the estimated cost has risen to $634 million.

John Bean, president of Calgary Sports and Entertainment, said Wednesday that there is no viable way for the deal to go through. The team said that they would have been on the hook for $346.5 million, plus any additional costs.

  • Over the summer, the city and team each agreed to add $12.5 million to the project budget to account for cost overruns.
  • The city chipped in an additional $10 million for event management, according to Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek. The team was to pick up additional expenses.
  • An additional $16.1 million in climate mitigation and street adjustments were identified, for which the city offered to pay $6.4 million. The team balked at picking up the final $9.7 million.

A City in Shock

“On a project worth over $650 million, to have one party walk away for 1.5% of the value of the deal is staggering,” Gondek wrote.

It’s not immediately clear what this means for the team’s future. The Flames have played in their current home, the Saddledome, for 38 years.

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