News / Calgary

Calgary Flames' Ken King says deal 'not going to end' with city arena proposal

President and CEO Ken King met with Calgary media Friday morning after the city released their latest arena proposal.

Calgary Sports and Entertainment president and CEO, Ken King.

Helen Pike - Metro

Calgary Sports and Entertainment president and CEO, Ken King.

The parent company of the Calgary Flames responded swiftly to the city's release of their latest arena offer early Friday, picking apart the proposed deal.

Calgary Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Ken King met with reporters for the second time this week, after telling media earlier that the Flames ownership group would no longer be pursuing an arena deal in the city.

Mayor Nenshi provided the city's latest offer that included multi-component 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 deal, with the city also including an additional estimated $150 million in "all-city" costs, such as a Green Line station and utility work and 17th Avenue extension.

The city did want property tax from the building, something sources have told Metro was a sticking point in the negotiations as CSEC was looking for property tax exemption.

King told reporters Friday that he's glad that the city released the details of the deal, but they see it in a different way.

He said aside from the city's $130 million, the bulk of the cost falls on CSEC, primarily because how the city recoups its investment all comes down to Calgary Flames revenue, including the user fees - ie, ticket surcharge.

"So it's all Flames revenue and if we thought that model could work we'd have saved everyone a lot of time, a lot of newsprint and a lot of broadcast hours and just got on with our life," King said.

King took issue with the city's inclusion of the $30 million land cost, calling it little more than an 'accounting' process.

"They're not buying the land and we're not owning the land," King said.

Further he said the additional $150 million in indirect costs has one major flaw: those projects would be done anyway.

"Loading all the costs for transportation, Green Line, underpasses, 17th Avenue extensions is purely and unadulteratedly gratuitous. These are not incremental costs," King said.

"If we don't go ahead with this project the only thing that's going to be different relative to those costs is the absence of our funding. They're going to build underpasses and they're going to build Green Lines and they're going to extend 17th Avenue. So let's be really straightforward and honest with this process."

King said the CSEC proposal, in its entirety, would be delivered next week. In the meantime, he's hoping the communication can be crystal clear on what each side is putting forth.

He didn't know exactly what the next step would be, after the delivery of their proposal.

"I don't know how it's going to end," King said.

"But it's not going to end with the city proposal that you saw this morning."

City of Calgary arena proposal

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