Breaking Down the Arena Deal Gary Bettman Is Pressuring Calgary to Accept

January 12th, 2016 by Jonathan Willis Leave a reply »

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Calgary, Alberta, this week, and he was there to do what he's done in so many other markets: pressure local government to accept an arena deal that includes massive amounts of public money.

In a chamber of commerce event covered by TSN, Bettman said he was "having trouble understanding" why there hadn't been more progress on the project, dubbed CalgaryNEXT. He said the cost was never going to be lower, that it was necessary and put the onus for progress squarely on Mayor Naheed Nenshi.    

"I believe that if this project is going to happen, the mayor needs to embrace it, the city needs to embrace it," Bettman said. "If he's not prepared to embrace it, then people will have to deal with that."

The mayor, who skipped a meeting with Bettman on Tuesday, may not be prepared to embrace the project, and when we look at the specific financing, it's easy to understand why. The project's official website breaks down funding into four categories.

The biggest share, $250 million, would come from a user fee. Calgary Flames CEO Ken King c ...

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