Flames confirm agreement for Calgary event centre terminated

CSEC president and CEO John Bean explains what went wrong in the new arena deal between them and the city of Calgary, and why they mutually decided not to follow through.

The owners of the Calgary Flames say the framework agreement with the city of Calgary for a new event centre has been terminated.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation said the project framework agreement required both parties to waive current construction conditions on or before Dec. 31.

Neither party waived the conditions, resulting in termination.

“We have always believed that Calgary needs a new Event Centre,” John Bean, president and CEO of Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, said in a statement. “However, under the current circumstances we do not see a path forward that would create a viable partnership with the city, which is essential for a new Event Centre to become a reality.”

The Dec. 31 deadline coming and going essentially became a formality on Dec. 21 when Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said a conversation with Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. chairman Murray Edwards confirmed the team was “pulling the plug” on the 19,000-seat venue that has been more than a decade in the making.

She added that walking away from a $630 million project for 1.5 per cent of the value of the deal is “staggering.”

After Gondek’s statement, the Flames pledged to keep the team at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen and National Lacrosse League’s Calgary Roughnecks also play out of the Saddledome and are owned by CSEC.

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