Nenshi says Calgary could look to Seattle, New York for arena solutions

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city is not working with any partners on a possible new arena in Victoria Park.

Talks between the city and the Flames remain stalled

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the city is not working with any partners on building a new arena. (CBC)

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the city is not working with any partners on a possible new arena in Victoria Park.

City-owned land in the neighbourhood is being considered as a potential site, but talks between the owners of the Calgary Flames and the city have remained stalled since last summer. 

Reports have suggested that the city could work with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation or private-sector companies to build a new arena, with the private companies acting as anchor tenants, but Nenshi said Wednesday that those plans are not being discussed at present.

However, he said Calgary could look to other cities for solutions.

"You have that model in Seattle where the building is being built in the hopes of attracting a team which the owners of the arena may or may not own," Nenshi said at a meeting of the municipal intergovernmental affairs committee.

"However, you also have the model in New York where you've got these private partners who are working with the hockey team to make this happen, so there's a universe of possibilities."

The International Olympic Committee examined Calgary's facilities for a possible 2026 Winter Olympic bid and assured the city that the Saddledome would be an acceptable venue for both hockey and figure skating.

The 'Dome, which opened in 1983, is the second-oldest arena in the NHL.

The city said the master plan to turn Victoria Park into an entertainment district is set to be released in a few weeks and there will be opportunities for public engagement. 

"The Victoria Park master plan continues. It has a placeholder for a place where you could have an events centre, should that happen, but that master plan does not require that events centre to happen," Nenshi said.

With files from Scott Dippel