Do you remember when the city and the Flames were going back and forth to make us all believe that the other group was to blame as to why the deal for the new arena fell though?
The city’s plan had the $555 million bill split three ways with the city picking up $185 million, the Flames pitching in another $185 million and the last third being paid off using ticket sales. On top of that, the Flames would have gotten revenue from arena while the city would have covered construction and transit costs.
That seemed like a pretty good plan; no one side was paying a huge amount of money, and using money from ticket sales to pay for a portion of it meant that only people using the arena would be paying that share.
A few days after the Flames showed off their plan where they would put up $275 million, which they considered to be a “prepayment” of the rent they would owe to the city. The other $225 million in this plan would come from a Community Revitalization Levy which is a loan from the province, that the city has to pay back with taxes from the redeveloped area.
And honestly…that doesn’t sound so bad either. But the city said that that deal was not the full proposal they were shown; that the Flames were intentionally leaving details out to mislead the public.
Well we now know what those details were! The Globe And Mail acquired some documents showing the rest of the Flames demands.
On top of what we already knew, the Flames wanted
- the option to buy and develop land near the new arena
- a portion of the money made by the Stampede Casino
- all parking revenue from any major events held at the new arena
- for the city to cover all flood insurance costs, reimburse the team for the provincial property tax, and for the taxpayers to cover the cost of a festival ground near the arena if the team wants to build one
All of which you’ll notice is more than they said they had said they asked for.
Now is that stuff really that bad to ask for? Not really, most of the new arena deals that happened recently included some sort of land redevelopment around the arena, and asking for the revenue from parking isn’t that crazy either. The potential festival grounds they’d want us to pay for is a little strange because that’s never once been brought up before, and asking for some of the money from the casino is a little weird as well.
The biggest issue, for me at least, is that this stuff had to leak in the first place. This looks like the Flames tried to shame the city and the deal they had proposed, all the while hiding a bunch of extra stuff from the public about their proposal. Is there stuff that we don’t know about the city’s proposal? There’s definitely a good chance, but as it stands we don’t know for certain about any hidden things the city’s and it looks like we do about the Flames’.
What really sucks about this new arena debate is you’ve got both sides acting all high and mighty thinking that everyone agrees that they are in the right, and the other side is wrong, when actually everyone just thinks both sides are being childish and making us all look bad.