Calgary’s mayor says the Calgary Flames intend to pull the plug on the events centre deal, meant to replace the iconic Saddledome in Victoria Park.
In a Twitter thread posted Tuesday evening, mayor Jyoti Gondek said she spoke with Murray Edwards, primary shareholder of Calgary Sports & Entertainment Corp (CSEC), who informed her about the future of the event centre project.
Gondek said since she was elected mayor, her office has been working with CSEC to mitigate any additional costs on the project.
After costs for climate mitigation and right of way issues for road and sidewalks were identified, which totalled $16.1 million, the mayor said the city asked CSEC to contribute $9.7 million of that amount in addition to what had already been agreed on.
“Based on this gap, CSEC informed me they are walking away from our deal. On a project worth over $650 million, to have one party walk away for 1.5% of the value of the deal is staggering,” tweeted Gondek.
“I wanted Calgarians to be the first to know. I am as disappointed as all of you that this is the way things are ending.”
Construction slated for January
Earlier this year, it was revealed the controversial $550 million deal between the city and CSEC was as much as $60 million over budget. The arena is now projected to cost $608.5 million.
During the summer, both parties agreed to pay an additional $12.5 million for the arena, and that the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) would no longer oversee the project.
The Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation also agreed to cover any more cost overruns.
The event centre project then went before the Calgary Planning Commission in November, who approved the development permit.
That was one of the final hurdles developers needed to clear before the start of construction, slated for January 2022.
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