Calgary's beloved multi-use indoor arena and home for the Calgary Flames, Saddledome arena, may finally be getting an upgrade that is a long time coming. Talks about renovating the arena, which was built in 1983, have gained momentum as the city and the Flames reached a tentative agreement to upgrade the NHL’s home rink.

Council members will discuss the proposal behind closed doors next week. Councillor Ward Sutherland told CBC News that it’s not a deal as of yet, but there is a proposal ready for council.

The city previously rejected a proposal for a new arena back in 2017, which left the Flames disappointed. They continued with negotiations though, and the city is finally ready to discuss the deal in what could be a two-day meeting.

“Negotiations, as we mentioned a few weeks ago, had been ongoing. It’s a multi-party deal, so it’s very complex. It deals with the Stampede board, the Flames organization, CLMC (Calgary Municipal Land Corp) and also the city,” said Sutherland.

The new arena is estimated to cost around $600 million, according to the CMLC. The Calgary Herald said the estimate is based on an 18,000 seat arena with a community rink, retail space and 40,000 square feet of underground parking.

The Flames website stated that the team is ready to contribute $275 million towards the renovations, which is similar to prepayment of 35 years of tenancy rent. The arena is expected to include e-games and e-entertainment including virtual reality concerts.

Sutherland told CBC News, the new arena will be the “future of Calgary,” but not everyone is as optimistic as him about the arena.

Despite the backlash from some locals, many others are excited about the new arena, and awaiting the verdict from council next week.

Council will discuss the deal on Monday afternoon behind closed doors. If council votes in favour of the deal, the legal paperwork would begin, and construction would start sometime in 2021.

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