NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is holding strong on his opinion that the city of Calgary should contribute more to any future Flames’ arena development, despite the city’s strong opposition to that idea.
“From talking to ownership in Calgary on a regular basis, they’re not on the same wavelength (with the city),” Bettman said in an interview with Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean. “What’s clear to me is that there’s no basis for a deal anytime soon which is why the Flames have given up the pursuit.”
The Flames currently play in the Scotiabank Saddledome which opened in 1983. The debate over the development of a future arena went public in September when Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi revealed his proposition to Calgary Sports and Entertainment (CSEC), which owns the Flames.
That plan valued a future building at $555 million and had the city covering a third, CSEC paying for a third and the final third being covered by a ticket surcharge. It also allowed CSEC to collect 100 per cent of the revenue from the building, but would require them to pay property tax on it.
“Our argument is the city needs to somehow share in the upside if we’re going to share in the cost,” Nenshi, who was re-elected in October, said at the time.
Negotiations have only gone sour since, with Bettman calling the situation “frustrating” in December.
And based on his comments on Sunday, Bettman’s viewpoint hasn’t changed.
“The whole problem is, no matter how the city dresses it up, the fact of the matter is they’re looking for the Flames to pay for the whole thing,” Bettman said Sunday.
You can watch the whole interview at the top of this post, which includes comments from Bettman on a new arena for the Ottawa Senators and the goaltender interference rule.