– Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city plans to consult with residents before making a decision to provide public funding for a possible new hockey arena.
“It’s not going to be a deal that gets presented to the public with a ribbon on it,” Nenshi said Monday in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York headquarters. “We will actually engage the public in discussions about what they think is right.”
The Scotiabank Saddledome Arena, home to the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames, was built for the 1988 Winter Olympics and has outgrown its current site on the eastern edge of downtown. The team, part-owned by oil billionaire Murray Edwards, has proposed a site on the west side of downtown along the Bow River on city-owned land currently occupied by a car dealership, the Calgary Herald reported in April.
The proposed site is “very problematic,” Nenshi said, without providing details. So far, the team and its management haven’t asked for public money, the mayor said.
“What we have heard the ownership groups say is that if we ask for public money, and they haven’t yet, it will be for public access and public benefit,” he said. “They are not going to threaten the citizens with moving the team or doing the same script we’ve seen in so many other cities and I think that’s terrific.”