For the long-suffering Calgary Flames fans that have wondered if the arena dispute would ever end, today brings some respite. City councillor Jeff Davison announced today that the Flames and the city of Calgary have signed an agreement for a new taxpayer-funded arena and event center in Victoria Park.
Scott Dippel of CBC reports that there will be public engagement in January and that construction is set to begin in fall 2021. That would put the estimated completion at fall 2024, though timelines for things projects can obviously vary throughout the process.
The battle for a new arena became extremely political in Calgary, with the Flames and mayor Naheed Nenshi each experiencing frustration with the other side. At one point, Flames CEO Ken King even announced that the organization was “no longer pursuing a new facility” which threw doubt onto the team’s future in Calgary. Things slowly changed before a preliminary proposal was agreed upon earlier this summer.
Calgary would be expected to start the 2024-25 season in the new arena, but obviously we’re a long way from knowing exactly when the doors will be opened. At the very least, this is a good sign for the health and stability of the franchise.