Artists’ conceptual rendering of a new arena to replace the Saddledome.
City council could make a decision today on a proposed $550-million deal to replace the Saddledome.But before the debate begins at city hall this afternoon, council members will learn the outcome of a request to the Flames for more time to carry out public consultations on the arena deal. At least five city councillors have suggested they would like more time.Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) have so far declined to comment on the requested delay, but a Tweet Monday from the official Calgary Flames Twitter account suggested they expected the vote to proceed on Tuesday as planned.Details of the proposal were released on July 22.According to the terms of the proposed deal, the cost of a new arena in Victoria Park would be split between the city and the owners of the Calgary Flames, with the city retaining ownership of the new building.The Flames will carry the operating and maintenance costs for the new facility for the duration of a 35-year agreement.The $275-million cash contribution from the city exceeds amounts discussed in previous rounds of negotiations in 2016 and 2017, but proponents point out the deal would also provide revenue to the city in future years.The city will collect a “facility fee,” a two per cent tax on every ticket sold at the arena for the lifetime of the agreement, amounting to an estimated $155 million in revenue over 35 years. The city would also receive a share from the naming rights for the new building, equivalent to an estimated $2.5 million over 10 years.More controversially, CSEC will be granted options to acquire two parcels of nearby city-owned land. The first 70,000-square-foot-parcel was once the site of the historic Enoch Sales House and has an estimated market value of $15 million. The second option involves 500,000 square feet of land on the eastern edge of the Elbow River where the City of Calgary’s Victoria Park Transit Facility (bus barns) are located and is valued at $85 million.Civic affairs journalist Meghan Potkins will be covering the arena debate live from City Hall. Follow it here: