Calgary

Calgarians have 3 extra days to give feedback on arena deal

The City of Calgary has added a few days to its deadline for public feedback on its proposed deal with the owners of the Calgary Flames for a new arena complex.

City council's vote on the proposed deal will now happen Tuesday

The City of Calgary announced Friday afternoon that it was extending the public consultation period over a proposed deal on an arena complex with the group that owns the Flames. (CBC, City of Calgary)

Calgarians have a few extra days to provide feedback on the proposed events centre and arena, and the council vote is now pushed back a day to Tuesday.

On Monday, the City of Calgary and the ownership group behind the Calgary Flames said they had a proposed deal that would see the two organizations equally split the cost of a $550-million new arena complex to replace the 36-year-old Scotiabank Saddledome.

Originally, public feedback had to be in by noon Friday to be considered and the vote was going to proceed Monday.

However, the city announced Friday afternoon that feedback would be accepted until end of the business day on Monday.

The council vote has been delayed from Monday to Tuesday at 1 p.m.

The city has drawn fire on several fronts over the proposed deal.

Many pointed out the unfortunate timing, as on Tuesday, city council passed cuts of $60 million that will affect emergency services, transit service and affordable housing and result in 115 layoffs.

Some also said there was too little time to consider the proposal.

Councillors Evan Woolley and Jeromy Farkas wrote letters to the city manager urging the entire process be bumped into two weeks in September, after people had returned from summer vacations.

"We engaged Calgarians more broadly and deeply on public toilets than we have on a $275-million investment," Woolley said Thursday.

"One week is insufficient time for me to do my own due diligence and to answer the questions Calgarians and my constituents have asked of me.… This is a big decision that I have to make with their money."

Under the proposed deal, the city would own 100 per cent of the new facility and the group that owns the Flames — Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. — would bear 100 per cent of the operating, maintenance and repair costs for the 35-year agreement.

The city will accept feedback on the proposal by emails to PublicSubmissions@calgary.ca, by fax to 403-268-2362 and in person on Monday at 700 Macleod Tr. S.E.

With files from Scott Dippel and Sarah Rieger

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