Flames ‘remain committed’ to arena plan, which city report called ‘not feasible’

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The owners of the Calgary Flames have an ambitious plan to replace aging Scotiabank Saddledome, and they’ve promised not to “steal money from the city” to get the new arena built.

Yesterday, the city essentially told them to go back to the drawing board.

From the Calgary Herald:

The Calgary Flames’ ambitious vision to build a professional and amateur sports complex in the West Village hit a major roadblock Wednesday following the release of a city analysis showing CalgaryNEXT could cost ultimately about $1.8 billion and have taxpayers pay up to two-thirds of the tab.  

“CalgaryNEXT,” administration concludes, “is not feasible in its present form or location.”

Despite the report, the Flames have said they “remain committed to the concept” and are intent on “coming back with a comprehensive response.”

But these are not easy economic times in Alberta, as the oil crash has created serious financial challenges for the province. On top of that, Calgary’s mayor has never been too enthusiastic about “spending very scarce public money on a professional sports arena.”

So this won’t be an easy deal for the Flames to get done, just like it wasn’t easy for the Edmonton Oilers to get theirs done.

On that note, perhaps the Flames will have to take a trip to Seattle at some point.

You know, just to take a look around.

Related: Calgary mayor jousts with Gary Bettman on topic of new arena